'The Proposal' episode grounded by ABC after charges of sexual assault against contestant
Michael Friday, a contestant on the show, was accused by Milwaukee resident Erica Denae Meshke of assisting in her sexual assault
ABC has pulled down the second episode of its latest reality series, 'The Proposal', after a Milwaukee woman alleged on Facebook that one of the contestants facilitated in her getting sexually assaulted. Erica Denae Meshke later told Huffington Post that since her FB post, four other women contacted her “and claimed they were all drugged and raped by (contestant) Michael Friday first hand.”
The trigger for the cancellation of the episode that was to be aired on June 25 was a lengthy confession by Meshke on her Facebook page on Thursday about her encounter with Friday. She said she met Friday through Tinder in November last year and agreed to meet him in the lobby of an apartment complex in Milwaukee. Friday was there with two men he called friends who appeared to be in their 50s; but he disappeared shortly after she arrived.
Meshke alleged that one of the men assaulted and threatened her for five hours in an apartment in the building after spiking her drink and getting her there. She described the assault as “unspeakable.”
Though she didn't tell the cops about the attack at the time, she is mulling making a report now. According to Meshke, Friday “knowingly and willfully lured me into that apartment lobby with the intention of assisting the older man in a sexual assault scheme.”
She further wrote on the post: "This man is the pretty face that is used as a lure to get girls into unsafe situations. I’ve heard so many similar bait-and-catch horror stories, and it’s sickening. Protect your fellow women, and keep trash like this accountable for their actions. Be safe. Be aware. Be cautious."
Meshke wrote the post after coming across Friday as a contestant on the show's Facebook page.
She went on: "After keeping this buried for nearly eight months and seeing this man continue to succeed and not be held accountable for his actions, I’ve had enough. I’ve lost sleep, relationships, self-esteem, trust, and countless other things because of that night. And I’m done keeping it quiet."
ABC and Warner Horizon said in a joint statement to ET on Friday, "An allegation has been made against a contestant on next week’s episode of The Proposal...While the accusation was not related to the contestant’s appearance on the program, we take it very seriously. ABC and the producers of The Proposal are pulling the episode while this matter is under review."
Friday is yet to respond.
Meshke later posted that she didn't hold ABC or the Proposal responsible for the action of Friday.
She wrote: "After receiving backlash, I need to say that I in NO way condemn ABC or the show The Proposal for the actions of one man. I understand that a simple background check would not have shown his horrible track record. I did not make an official police report since I did not know his last name, or that others had experienced trauma at his hand."
Her post received responses from four other women who too claimed that they had been victim of sexual assaults carried out by Friday, Huffington Post reported.
The cancellation of the episode comes immediately after it was revealed that a contestant of ABC's other show 'The Bachelorette', Lincoln Adim, was convicted of indecent assault for groping a woman in 2016, according to HollywoodReporter.
While the show's producer Warner Bros. TV denied any knowledge of the conviction, it is stated that Adim's conviction is the second in the field after Garrett Yrigoyen came under the radar for offensive social media behavior. According to the article, Yrigoyen apologized in a statement saying, "I am not perfect, and I will never be anywhere close...but now I will always be more informed and aware of what I am liking and supporting, not just on Instagram, but in life."