What if you and your spouse checked into your hotel room, found a bloody corpse, found yourself barred from leaving the room by hotel security guards, and then learned that the whole thing was a hidden camera prank for a TV show? Pretty funny, huh? No? James and Laurie Ryan didn’t think so either, so they’re suing MTV, the hotel, and ”That ’70s Show”’s Ashton Kutcher, host and producer of the show that staged the stunt, according to various reports.
The Ryans, a Washington, D.C., couple, filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court in April over the incident, which took place in January at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, but this week, the suit was transferred to a D.C. federal court, Reuters reports. The Ryans are seeking $10 million in damages for invasion of privacy, infliction of emotional distress, fraud, and other claims, their attorney told Reuters.
When the vacationing couple checked into their room, they ”discovered what appeared to be a dead human body covered and surrounded by blood, evidently the victim of a homicide,” the suit says. Before they could flee, they were stopped by two actors posing as hotel security guards and another posing as a paramedic. Finally, the suit says, Kutcher entered the room and revealed the prank, which was part of a pilot for his show, called ”Harassment.” Kutcher has described the show, which has yet to debut on MTV, as a ”guerilla ‘Candid Camera,”’ Reuters says.
None of the defendants has commented on the suit. Reuters reports that MTV, formerly the home of ”Jackass,” has been sued by two teenage girls who were sprayed with human excrement for a segment of a show called ”Dude, This Sucks.” Although the network apologized to the girls and promised never to air the footage, the suit is still pending.