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'Survivor' castaway: Ex-'Big Brother' star's allegations a publicity stunt

By Christopher Rocchio, 05/17/2010 

Former Survivor: Fiji castaway Kenward "Boo" Bernis claims that fame motivated former Big Brother 2 houseguest Krista Stegall's recent allegations that he battered her.

Bernis described Stegall's claim that he barged into a Lafayette, LA bar restroom, grabbed her arms, shoved her against a wall and shouted at her as a "publicity stunt," TMZ reported Friday.

Bernis was cited late last month by Louisiana police after he allegedly battered Stegall inside the restroom of Lafayette's Bootleggers Bar, which he reportedly co-owns with Survivor: Samoa and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains castaway Russell Hantz.

However Bernis told TMZ that Stegall had already "caused a fight that went down between two guys" and almost caused another one in the restroom.

While Bernis admitted that he did grab Stegall's arm during the incident, he told TMZ it was only after she left the restroom and added it was to escort her out of the bar.

The Lafayette district attorney has not filed charges against Bernis, TMZ reported.

Stegall appeared as a Big Brother second-season houseguest in 2001 and was part of an incident that resulted in fellow houseguest Justin Sebik being kicked out of the house.

Sebik was removed from the house after a night of drinking that included him holding a knife to her throat and asking if she'd still love him "if I killed you." 

Although Stegall -- Sebik's "showmance" girlfriend -- didn't seem threatened by his action and later claimed to have no memory of the incident and protested that "[the producers] blew that completely out of proportion," Big Brother's producers decided to remove him after determining he had demonstrated inappropriate behavior.

By the time the season ended, Stegall had found a new "showmance" partner -- eventual Big Brother 7: All-Stars winner Mike "Boogie" Malin, who proposed marriage to her live on Big Brother's second-season finale.  The pair later broke up and never married. 

Despite her earlier comments, Stegall sued CBS over the knife incident a year later.

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