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'Temptation Island' Couple, Booted for Having Child, Sue

March 29, 2001|BRIAN LOWRY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A couple removed from the unscripted Fox television series "Temptation Island" have reportedly filed a defamation lawsuit against the network and the show's producers, claiming the producers knew they had a child together but told them not to divulge that fact before taping began.

Ytossie Patterson and Taheed Watson, both aspiring actors, were among four couples featured on the program but were dropped in the middle of production after the News Corp.-owned network claimed it found out about their child.

In January, Fox issued a statement saying the network's policy was "that no couples with children together could participate in the show. . . . As soon as the producers learned of the existence of the child, they notified the network and the decision was made to immediately remove them from further participation."

However, a simple background check by The Times easily uncovered a paternity suit against Watson that would have revealed the child's existence.

It's unclear whether the latest development could affect plans for a second version of "Temptation Island"--which turned out to be a ratings hit--next season.

Fox declined comment on the lawsuit, first reported on Inside.com. The show's producer, Rocket Science Laboratories, did not return phone calls.

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