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Blake was dumped by his fiancée on The Jerry Springer Show. A month later, he was dead.

Warning: This post deals with suicide, and may be triggering for some readers.

In the space of a month, Blake Alvey’s world came crashing down around him.

The 23-year-old man from Louisville, Kentucky, had appeared on The Jerry Springer Show in early May 2018, where he was confronted by his fiancé Cassie Rutter, who told him she was having an affair with his friend.

Rutter told Alvey she did not want to marry him and said “there’s someone else”. She announced she had sold the engagement ring he gave her and had been cheating on him with his friend, who she planned to leave him for.

blake alvey cassie rutter the jerry springer show
Blake Alvey and Cassie Rutter on The Jerry Springer Show.

This friend was then introduced to the show by producers and the two men briefly fought on stage before being separated.

Alvey was blindsided.

The couple filmed the episode on May 8, 2018, and it went to air in the US on May 24. Alvey died by suicide on June 3, just nine days after the air date, leaving behind an infant son.

A year later, his family is suing The Jerry Springer Show over Alvey's death.

In a lawsuit filed in Louisville's Jefferson Circuit Court last week on behalf of Alvey's family, son, and ex-fiancé Rutter, it's argued the show’s producers and executives knew the production would "elicit an extreme reaction" from Alvey, according to WDRB.

It argued his suicide was "as a result of severe emotional and mental suffering and anguish" and they have accused The Jerry Springer Show of "reckless disregard for the lives and safety of others".

"The Jerry Springer Show was designed to humiliate and exploit people like Blake, while the defendants disregard the devastating consequences that their conduct can have on people’s lives," the lawsuit read. "We will fight to hold them accountable."

blake alvey the jerry springer show
Alvey was blindsided on the show.
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Attorney Brenton Stanley, who is representing Alvey’s family, released a statement saying the show caused Alvey "great emotional distress, leading to his tragic and untimely death".

The Jerry Springer Show, which was cancelled last year, has not responded to requests to comment about the lawsuit. The episode featuring Alvey has been removed online.

It's not the first time the show has been called into question.

In 2000, married couple Ralf and Eleanor Panitz, were guests on an episode of the show entitled "Secret Mistresses Confronted" with Panitz's ex-wife, Nancy Campbell-Panitz, in which they complained about Campbell-Panitz's behaviour and accused her of stalking them.

Hours after the episode was broadcast on July 24, 2000, Campbell-Panitz was found dead. In 2002, her ex-husband was convicted of her murder and sentenced to life in prison.

The Jeremy Kyle Show, which follows a similar format, has also dealt with the deaths and assaults of people who previously appeared on the show.

In 2008, 21-year-old Roger Irons, who appeared on the show in 2007, died by suicide. His sister Lisa told an inquest that Irons was badly impacted by homophobic taunts.

In 2007, a Manchester District Judge sentenced a man who headbutted his love rival while appearing on the show.

Judge Berg was reported by the BBC as saying: "I have had the misfortune, very recently, of watching The Jeremy Kyle Show. It seems to me that the purpose of this show is to affect a morbid and depressing display of dysfunctional people whose lives are in turmoil".

He described the show as "human bear-baiting".

"It should not surprise anyone that these people, some of whom have limited intellects, become aggressive with each other. This type of incident is exactly what the producers want."

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner or in Australia, contact Lifeline 13 11 14 for support or beyondblue at 1300 22 4636.

Tags: jerry-springer , news-3 , news-stories , tv-2
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