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.
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."