reality tv

'They harass you and threaten you.' Carly Bowyer shares the reality of her experience on MAFS.

To catch up on all the MAFS 2020 recaps and gossip, check out The Twins recaps and visit our MAFS hub page. And sign up for our Recaps newsletter to get them straight into your inbox.

Well. MAFS has returned this year with the kisses, misses, tears and tantrums it is infamous for.

And it’s brought with it a new wave of allegations made by contestants against producers, who they claim to be manipulative. (Shock.)

After the expiry of a two-year contract preventing her from unveiling the truth, former Married At First Sight contestant Carly Bowyer is sharing the reality of her experience on MAFS in 2018.

The participant of the experiment outlined on her podcast Finding a Unicorn exactly how filming operates and the strategies employed when the cameras don’t capture all the context of a relationship.

“You live with this person 24/7 for eight weeks, so there is so much that happens off-camera – basically everything happens off-camera – and then they have to fill in the gaps,” said Carly, who was fake-married to Justin Fischer on the show.

In fact, she told listeners that’s exactly what happened in the lead up to her exit.

Side note… MAFS Experts: UNCUT. Exactly what goes down behind the scenes. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

During Carly’s season, it was portrayed that she left Justin because he wouldn’t commit. The truth, she said, was that she walked in on her husband kissing another contestant – a moment that was never made public, because the cameras didn’t get it on film.

“I’ve never been able to speak about that, [I’ve] basically had a gag order put on me that I wasn’t allowed to speak.”

Carly continued: “My husband basically was hooking up with someone else on the show and I walked in on it. I absolutely lost it… I was screaming, I was going mental. The camera crews were chasing me down the hall. I was going psycho.

“It just went into absolute overdrive after that,” the 34-year-old explained. “I had all of the producers calling me [saying]: ‘We can’t make this part of the storyline on the show because it happened off-camera.’ So they said, ‘we have to make up another narrative for you of why you’re actually leaving the show.'”

“If anyone speaks about it, you’re done.”

Carly remembers the producers calling a crisis meeting with all 22 contestants – who knew about the off-camera cheating incident – and telling the group: “If anyone speaks about it, you’re done.”


“They [the producers] kept saying to me, ‘Carly, if you’re angry, channel your anger through something else that he has done, another excuse, and yell at him, but you cannot say what actually happened because it’s not going to make sense to the narrative,'” she said.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Carly Bowyer (@carlybowyer) on

The season-five bride added that the manipulation surpassed the filming stage, saying Channel Nine had a strict contract that prevented her from telling her truth for two years.

“If there’s anything they want to keep a secret – which is basically everything – they literally harass you and threaten you. The amount of times I got threatened with lawsuits was ridiculous. It was practically on a daily basis.”

Carly added: “When I came off the show, I had things to hide and so the producers were really wary of me because they knew there could be things that I could spill because they made me fake a lot of things… so they basically banned me from the media. I wasn’t allowed to go to any events, I wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone else from the show, I was completely alienated from the rest of the group.”


View this post on Instagram


Reunion time ???? #thegangsallhere #mafs #marriedatfirstsight #channel9 #ch9 @marriedau

A post shared by Carly Bowyer (@carlybowyer) on


It’s not the first time Carly has spoken of her poor experience with the producers of MAFS.

In February, Carly spoke to Mamamia about behind-the-scenes the show, saying: “I like to call the producers the ‘smiling assassins’. They smile and are lovely to your face, then they manipulate every situation to the advantage of the show. They will do whatever it takes to get you to trust them, so they can get the most out of you.

“It was so horrible that I cried on a daily basis and actually felt scared of what they might do.”

Mamamia has reached out to Channel 9 for comment.

Feature image: Instagram/@carlybower.

Sick of tabloid drama?

Sign up for our “Mamamia Celebrity” newsletter, for a smart take on everything entertainment.