Chad Johnson, the Bachelor Nation bad boy known for his appearance on Jo Jo Fletcher’s season of The Bachelorette and a later stint on Bachelor in Paradise, is suing a female movie producer for sexual harassment. The ABC reality star has filed a lawsuit against Sunset Studios Entertainment and producer Cristina Cimino, alleging assault, battery, fraud, and emotional distress, People reports.
In a copy of the suit obtained by the celebrity magazine, Johnson claims Cimino reached out to him in March after sliding into his direct messages on Instagram with the offer that she could help him get movie roles in Sunset Studios Entertainment projects. According to the lawsuit documents, Cimino allegedly engaged Johnson with thousands of texts, phone calls and later in-person meetings which he claims became “progressively more sexual and provocative.” Johnson alleges he repeatedly rejected Cimino’s “persistent and rigorous” sexually provocative advances.
The lawsuit alleges that Cimino allegedly offered Johnson two film roles in writing, for a total of an $11 million paycheck. The Bachelor franchise star says he accepted the parts but after he made it clear that “he was not interested in having a sexual or romantic relationship,” Cimino allegedly told him he could not be in either of the movies.
Johnson claims Cimino asked him if he had a girlfriend in one of her earlier direct messages to him, then progressed to more forward questions, like “Hey wanna come over later? Clothing is optional, nakedness is preferable.” Cimino later claimed that text was meant for someone else.
Cimino also allegedly asked Johnson if he was “comfortable with on-screen nudity” and later asked for his “best fitness pictures” before sending him an “inappropriate” photo of herself and admitting she was “shamelessly” flirting with him.
When Johnson finally met Cimino in person in Los Angeles, he alleges she convinced him to stay in her hotel room with her, although he insists no sexual interactions happened between them.
The final straw came when Cimino reportedly texted Johnson claiming they made out and he grabbed her butt. In the suit, Johnson denies Cimino’s claims and alleges that she was the aggressor, then pulled his movie roles after he didn’t oblige. Johnson is now seeking monetary damages, claiming that he turned down other projects for the two roles that Cimino pulled.
“Cimino committed the acts allegedly herein willfully, maliciously and oppressively with the wrongful intention of injuring Johnson. Cimino further acted with an improper and intentional motive amounting to malice, and in conscious disregard of Johnson’s rights.”
Bachelor Nation fans know Johnson from JoJo Fletcher’s season of The Bachelorette, where he routinely butted heads with several of Fletcher’s other suitors, most notably Evan Bass.
Longtime Bachelor host Chris Harrison teased Johnson’s bad boy antics in an interview with Entertainment Weekly shortly before the 12th season of the rose-filled reality show premiered in 2016.
“There are some crazy dynamic characters, maybe one of the wildest guys that Bachelor Nation will love to hate this season,” Harrison said of Johnson.
Johnson was later booted from the summertime spinoff Bachelor in Paradise after Harrison sent him packing due to his drunken, belligerent behavior. Chad Johnson’s reality TV resume also includes an appearance on E!’s Famously Single and the U.K. version of Celebrity Big Brother.