Are You the One? star Gianna Hammer is opening up about her experience on the reality TV show.
The 25-year-old star, who appeared on season five of the dating series, alleges she was "drugged" by production and "sexually assaulted" by a cast member while filming in the Dominican Republic in 2016.
"This is more of my experience," she said in one clip, "or how I felt about how the situation was handled."
On Sunday, April 18, Gianna detailed her time on the show and the alleged situation that occurred in an interview with The Daily Beast.
According to the reality TV personality, the contestant she accuses of sexual assault was never kicked off the show following the incident. Instead, she claims producers for Lighthearted Entertainment persuaded her to let her co-star stay. Moreover, she said there were new conditions put in place: He would sleep on the couch and they would both be cut off from drinking alcohol for the remainder of filming.
E! News has reached out to both MTV and Lighthearted Entertainment for comment, and we have yet to receive a response. However, both the network and production company issued statements to The Daily Beast.
A spokesperson for MTV stated, "We take these issues very seriously and have paused production/casting to conduct an independent investigation into the allegations, the third-party production company and further review our internal safety protocols."
Furthermore, MTV has also pulled the current season of Are You the One? from streaming services.
Lighthearted Entertainment told the outlet, "We are confident that any review will confirm the safety procotols [sic] that we have long had in place on the sets of Are You The One?. We deny the allegations made by the former contestant; throughout the eight seasons of the show, no contestant has reported an incident of sexual assault to Lighthearted."
Gianna claims that once filming wrapped for season five, she was never contacted by anyone from production or MTV about the alleged assault.
"I guess [I] really thought about it and was like, 'Wow, that was really f--ked up,'" she expressed. "They should have never left me in an unsafe position. I'm definitely a changed person after it all."
When recalling the events she alleges unfolded that night, Gianna noted that she took a low dosage of the antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication Zoloft, which her doctor recommended never be taken with alcohol. She claimed that she, along with other cast members, would take their medications first thing in the morning.
However, during one of the house parties, Gianna remembered getting extremely intoxicated and recalled getting into a heated argument with one of the male cast members, whom she didn't identify.
"That's when the producers took me away into our confessional room," Gianna claimed, noting several other co-stars were with her. "They had walked back into the confessional room with me and that was when the three producers said that I needed to calm down and that they were going to give me one of my medications. This part of the night is something I remember more clearly than anything else."
"I know that my castmates said that I kept telling them, 'I'm not supposed to do this when I'm drinking. I'm not supposed to do this when I'm drinking,'' she recalled, alleging producers told her, "It was OK, they said it wasn't a high enough dosage or something. So, I took it."
According to Gianna, that's one of the last things she remembers from that night. But the next morning, she recalled the producers telling her, "'Gianna, we need you outside.'"
She described being seated with three of the main producers, whose identities she didn't disclose.
"I remember being shaky and not knowing what had gone on or if I was in trouble," she recalled. "That's when they asked me if I remember anything that happened last night. I said no. They kind of start going over what had happened… and that's when I started really thinking and seeing some type of flashes."
Gianna claims the producers initially "downplayed" giving her medication, however, she said they later admitted to administering it to her. She recalled producers telling her that she and a male contestant got in bed together, but other cast members heard her saying "no" to him.
She alleges producers told her that "nothing happened" but that other castmates still intervened and pulled her out of the bed after they overheard her.
"I didn't know how to react to that situation," she shared. "Immediately after that, I think we had a pause, and then their next question was, 'Do you want him kicked out, kicked off the show?' I sat there, not even answering right away. I was staring at them, like, you just told me that this happened and I don't remember it, now you want me to make this decision?"
She said she asked the producers for their input.
"They made this comment, saying, 'He flew all the way out here, we did all this testing for him, he has a perfect match in this house, it would be a lot to send him back, he'd have to spend the rest of the time in a hotel by himself,'" she remembered, adding, that they took her lack of response as a sign that he should remain on the show.
She alleges afterward she was given documents to sign, which stated she couldn't discuss the incident and, in return, the footage from that night would never see the light of day. "That was really the last we talked about it," she said. However, she claimed the footage was later shown to other MTV stars.
Gianna also alleges that cast members who witnessed the incident were also pulled aside by producers and not allowed to speak about the event. Lighthearted Entertainment denied Gianna's accusations that she was asked to sign an NDA in regard to the incident.
Reply to @x_ambzx I know this is going to make some people upset maybe but that’s not something I’m comfortable “exposing”? original sound - giannahammer
The Daily Beast said they spoke to five other cast members from season five, including Tyranny Todd and Hayden Weaver, who confirmed parts of Gianna's story.
Tyranny claims she heard Gianna trying to push away the male co-star's advances, and at one point, she noticed he was on top of Gianna.
"I'm just like, what the f--k?" Todd recalled. "We went over there to try to get him off of her because we were like, 'This is weird.' I remember just always being really, really mad because we knew that Gianna was taken advantage of. I can remember it clear as day, he was on top of her and to turn around, like, 'What the f--k? This is not cool.'"
Hayden, who dated Gianna two years after the show and shares a son with her, told the outlet he saw Gianna going into the bedroom to lay down. Although he went outside, he claimed to have a clear view of the bedroom.
"I remember at one point looking at the room and there was a camera pointed where Gianna was laying," he recalled. "I couldn't see what exactly they were filming. I just assumed they were getting some shots of people sleeping that they can edit into stuff for the show. I came to realize later that [the male cast member] was basically starting to touch her and they were filming it as if it was like a hookup."
After trying to put the pieces together, Gianna explained that her feelings toward the male contestant are complex.
"I didn't know how to feel about it and there's still a part of me that I still don't know how to feel about it," she said. "I do have anger for him, but I guess I just won't ever feel like he had a malicious intention. I don't think this was something he planned to do."
Gianna hopes that sharing her story will help others with similar experiences as hers.
"I spent all these years not saying anything while it aired and while it was still fresh in everyone's minds because I was scared," she expressed. "I might as well just come out with it and share my experience. [It's] lifted a lot off my shoulders. I felt like it's not something that I have to carry on my back in secret or feel ashamed that it happened."
She later added, "At the end of the day, I would hope that anybody who is interested in doing reality TV could hear this and just know that it's important to be able to stick up for yourself."
Since sharing her story, Gianna tells E! News that a lot of her castmates, as well as many others, have offered their support and love. As she explains, "It is basically the one thing that is keeping me together right now."
"There are a lot of amazing people I met during this experience who have my back and are standing strong with me," she shares. "I've also heard from a couple of other survivors who have also been a part of sexual assaults on sets of reality TV shows. Those have been especially emotional for me."
She says that while she still hasn't heard from MTV or Lighthearted Entertainment, she was contacted by an investigator, who originally reached out to her last summer.
"She let me know there will be a third-party investigation going on," Gianna adds. "So we will see how that goes. Out of all of this, it would have just been nice to see a little humanity from the production company and network. At this point, I'm not holding out for anything. I just hope my story encourages others who may have been in a similar position to feel strong and empowered."
You can read her full interview with The Daily Beast here.