The surrogate mother used by Flipping Out star Jeff Lewis is taking a page out of the designer’s book and doing a little flipping out of her own!
Variety broke the news earlier this week that Alexandra Trent, who served as Jeff and his partner Gage Edwards’ surrogate for their daughter Monroe, is suing the couple, as well as the show’s production company and Bravo network over footage that aired, of which she said she never consented.
Alexandra gave birth to Monroe in 2016. The footage in dispute aired that August; however, Alexandra claims she was not made aware of its existence until well after it had aired when a work associate approached her about it.
While Alexandra agreed to the network filming her ultrasound appointments, the lawsuit says she drew the line at filming the birth itself. The suit goes on to say that the producers agreed to Alexandra’s terms, but then filmed the birth from behind a curtain anyway. She claims neither she nor her doctor knew about the cameras rolling while she was giving birth.
During the episode, Alexandra could be heard screaming in pain and her blurred-out lady parts made an appearance as well.
In her lawsuit, Alexandra states that, in addition to being filmed without her permission, she was humiliated by on-camera comments Jeff made in regard to her private parts during the birth.
“If I was a surrogate, and I had known there was going to be an audience, I probably would have waxed,” Jeff said on the episode. “And that was the shocking part for Gage. I don’t think Gage had ever seen a vagina, let alone one that big.”
According to Variety, Bravo, Authentic Entertainment, Jeff and Gage are all named in Alexandra’s suit and she is seeking damages for unlawful recording, invasion of privacy and fraud.
“In their quest for ratings, Defendants have deeply damaged [Alexandra] and have caused incredible anguish, self-loathing, contempt and depression,” the suit reportedly reads. It also notes that Alexandra has asked Bravo to take down the clips in question that are featured on their website, but that the network has not. She also claimed that she has canceled another surrogacy contract out of embarrassment.
Shortly after news of the lawsuit broke, Jeff took to Instagram to give his thoughts on the matter. Accompanying a screenshot of the story, he captioned: “I guess we won’t be using her again.”
Bravo head honcho Andy Cohen commented on Jeff’s post, calling him “a piece of work.”
After his Instagram sound off, Jeff provided a more detailed (and somewhat less-snarky) statement to People.
“This is like a blow to the head,” he said. “We are completely blindsided by this. We are just devastated. I thought we had a nice relationship, a friendship. We treated her like an extended member of the family. So you can imagine this is pretty stunning.
“And this is where I’m so upset,” he continued. “Because, on one hand, I don’t want to tarnish this most amazing experience of my life. We couldn’t be more grateful to this woman for birthing our child. We are indebted to her … we are so completely grateful to her, because without her, we wouldn’t have Monroe. But on the other hand, these are fabricated claims and are completely bogus and without merit. This smells to me like a financial shakedown.”
Jeff went on to say that while he doesn’t remember making the comments about Alexandra (and her vagina), but after seeing the episode, he does admit it was “a poor attempt at humor” and “an off-color joke.”
He told the magazine that, after the episode aired, Alexandra expressed her dismay to the surrogacy attorney about what was said, Jeff said he responded by sending her an apology letter and flowers.
“I thought all was good,” he said. “We spoke to her for months and months! She sent gifts. We were reaching out and giving her updates and pictures. I’m telling you, this was an amazing experience. We were friends. She was a part of our family. We bought her a beautiful push gift. That’s what’s so insane to me. I thought this was over.”
Jeff is also questioning Alexandra’s claims of not knowing she was being filmed. He said Alexandra signed a “broad appearance” release as part of their surrogacy contract as well as a non-disclosure agreement—the latter of which he said Alexandra has now violated.
Jeff added that there were multiple cameras present at some moments, everyone was mic-ed and there was a large crew present.
“ … So how do you now say you didn’t know you were being filmed? It’s unbelievable,” he said.
Not only is Jeff not backing down on the matter, he believes Alexandra is the one in the wrong.
“Shame on her for muddling such a beautiful experience,” he said. “I personally believe she will have to answer to God one day for what she’s done. And if I were her, I’d start drafting my apology now.”
Jeff has continued to post about the lawsuit on his Instagram. He screenshotted one of People’s stories about it, adding the caption, “Was she expecting a good reference?” in regard to the surrogate.
Entertainment Tonight Canada obtained footage of the scene in question. It does not appear that Alexandra (who is, you know, busy expelling a human being from her loins) is aware that filming is taking place. The cameraman seems to be positioned behind a curtain.
Watch the scenes in question below:
(Photos: Bravo, Instagram)