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HOME > The Real World > The Real World: Philadelphia

'Real World' finds more trouble, as Philadelphia police investigate bar brawl

By Wade Paulsen, 07/06/2004 

Once again, MTV's The Real World series has brought legal trouble to its host city.

According to The Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia police are investigating a barroom brawl that took place at the 32 club early in the morning of Saturday, July 3. According to the police report, a 22-year-old man, Stephen Wiley, ended up being taken to a hospital to receive 16 stitches in his back after the brawl, which supposedly started because Wiley was dancing with an unidentified female Real World: Philadelphia cast member.

The police report says that Wiley was jumped by four men, a male Real World castmate attempted to intevene, Wiley was punched in the face, and he and a 32 club employee were ultimately thrown into a table. The entire incident was taped by Real World camera crews, and the police expect the Real World producers to turn the tapes of the incident over to them today.

Among the witnesses interviewed by Philadelphia police, according to the report, were Real World: Philadelphia housemates Landon Loeck and Shovonda Billingslea. It is not known whether these two were the male and female cast members involved in the altercation.

This is the second straight Real World to cross over into the real world of criminal behavior. During its predecessor, Real World: San Diego, one of the female cast members, Robin Hibbard, was arrested after an on-camera bar brawl, which received prominent play on the show. In addition -- completely unmentioned on the show -- one friend of a castmember was alleged to have drugged and raped a young woman that he met in a nightclub, and San Diego police were forced to raid the house to retrieve evidence after a lawyer for show producers Bunim-Murray Productions tried to stall the police investigation.

At this rate, we expect to see knife-wielding Big Brother 2 contestant Justin Sebik on the next Real World. We admit to being surprised that the mayor of Philadelphia and the governor of Pennsylvania actually intervened to keep the show in Philly after the producers announced their plans to move it. Perhaps they expected that MTV's parent company, Viacom, would "clean up" The Real World after the negative publicity from San Diego.

If so, they were wrong.

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