The production company behind My 600-LB Life is being sued by the family of the late James “LB” Bonner, saying the company showed “gross negligence” that led to his suicide death in 2018.
As Starcasm reported, Bonner’s family claimed that he had been in noticeable distress for several months leading up to his death and had reached out to production assistants for help. As court documents showed, Bonner complained that he was a “f*cked up wreck right now” and that he had a breakdown, but the assistant allegedly told Bonner to “fake it till you make it.”
Bonner died in 2018 after posting a cryptic message on Facebook thanking those who had supported him and saying he needed to “face my demons head-on.” Bonner was found dead from a gunshot wound, and his death was later ruled a suicide, Newsweek reported.
After his passing, TLC issued a statement praising Bonner’s determination in overcoming an injury that claimed his right leg and led to his weight gain. It noted that Bonner had dropped close to 400 pounds, after reaching a weight of 650 pounds.
“TLC was deeply saddened to hear of L.B.’s passing and is honored to have shared his honest and courageous story on ‘My 600-lb Life,'” the statement read.
Bonner is one of a handful of people featured on the show to pass away either during or after filming, though Bonner was the only to die by suicide.
The lawsuit also claimed that Bonner was put through a very difficult experience on My 600-LB Life, the docu-series that follows dangerously obese people as they travel to Houston to work with famed bariatric surgeon Dr. Younan Nowzaradan. The lawsuit claimed that production delayed Bonner’s move to Houston, then forced him to return to his home in South Carolina in order to film scenes of him packing for the journey. Bonner’s family also claimed that My 600-LB Life production failed to pay for everything they had promised after his surgery, leaving Bonner in debt.
Bonner suffered a number of other physical and mental health ailments after the show, the lawsuit claimed.
“Due to the rapid weight loss and lack of sufficient after care, LB’s teeth became loose and some fell out, his vision became impaired, and he suffered from general malaise. All the while he continued to suffer psychologically and physically, the show continued to pressure.”
The family of James “LB” Bonner is seeking “monetary relief well in excess of $1,000,000.00” from the My 600-LB Life production company.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.