One of the new Bachelors once had a legal battle with Zac Efron, no really.

Ben Waddell is one of the three new Bachies trying to find love on The Bachelors as it returns for another season. 

The soon-to-be reality star is an international model who has a passion for sustainability and the environment

Waddell is making headlines now for being cast on the reality show about to air, but it isn't the first time he's been in the spotlight. 

In fact, the new Bachie is weirdly linked to Zac Efron. He claimed in 2021 that an eco-series starring the actor was partially stolen from a TV show concept he had pitched. 

Waddell alleged that the documentary series starring Efron, Down to Earth on Netflix, was copied from a pilot episode he filmed and shopped around in the United States in 2017. 

Waddell even claimed that he copyrighted the name Down to Earth in the US and showed American producers his own trailer. 


He told A Current Affair in a segment on the saga that his pitch was rejected multiple times as producers wanted a celebrity to host the series instead of Waddell. "They said that sustainability didn't pack enough punch for it to be a success. So, they wanted to get a celebrity host. And I said no. Because I wanted to learn, I wanted to be the host," Waddell claimed in 2021. 

The Bachie's brother, Rob Waddell, said he was frustrated by the similarities between his brother's show and the one that eventually went to air on Netflix. "You just sort of watch it and you go, this, is this real? You can't actually believe that. I still can't believe it," he recalled.

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The brothers launched a GoFundMe to pay for legal bills and even issued a legal notice demanding a response to Waddell's allegations. 

"I spoke to radio stations and then Channel 9 chased him [Efron] down," Waddell wrote on Instagram at the time. 

"Yesterday our lawyers contacted Efron's team direct. Now they've got seven days to write us back or you know what happens next." 

According to ACA, Efron's lawyers attempted to stop the episode of A Current Affair that aired the allegations and they "categorically disputed and denied" Waddell's claims. 

"Neither Efron nor his producing partner, nor their companies, ever had any contact with Mr Waddell. They never heard of him or his show and they had no knowledge of his show idea. The show was never pitched to them.

"This is a story that should not air".

Waddell hadn't said anything about the show until he saw the first season of the series, starring Efron, was the second-biggest trending show in the US. 


"I was sitting on my couch during lockdown and turned on Netflix and it was trending as the second-biggest show," he told Daily Mail Australia.

Watch the trailer for Down to Earth with Ben Waddell here: 

He decided to take action when he saw the second season would be filmed in Australia.

"I fell out of my chair, I was shocked. It was brutal, gut-wrenching," he said. "Now they're making a season two in Australia just to kick me when I'm down."

Waddell's lawyers at the time argued the trailer for the series had a number of "similarities" to his own. They claimed that the number of similarities were "too extensive and specific to be a coincidence”.

Watch the trailer for Down to Earth with Zac Efron here: 

To be clear, Waddell never directly pitched his sustainability show to Netflix.

Waddell is one of three Bachies who are attempting to find love in the second season of The Bachelors. He's joined by Brazilian Wesley Senna Cortes and ex-NRL player, Luke Bateman. 

"It’s such a surreal experience to take part in the new Bachelor series, and while I feel incredibly lucky it’s also very daunting," Waddell said.

"I’ll be going in with an open mind and open heart to find the girl of my dreams."

Feature Image: Ten/Getty.

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