Monday, September 16, 2013

Interview With The Unaired Catfish Victim

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I got to see the Catfish episode featuring Stephanie & David/Dawuan before MTV had it pulled from Amazon Video. I still have it in my video library, but it is no longer available for anyone who had not purchased it prior to being pulled. If you went to the list of available episodes, it's no longer displayed as Stephanie & David. Now it's listed as Episode 10.

About 5 months after I posted my Catfish synopsis on the blog, Stephanie and a friend of hers posted comments on the post asking if they could have a copy of the episode. (Note: I hid their comments because I wanted to protect their privacy. Stephanie, however, said later she didn't mind if I hadn't done that.) Stephanie had never seen the episode until I was able to help her out. I want to stress this point: MTV did not allow Stephanie to see the episode she was in. But they did allow Dawuan to see it.

I got to know Stephanie through emails, Facebook, texts, & telephone calls. She agreed to let me interview her for this blog. (I feel like I need to point out that I'm not a reporter and I don't consider myself to be a journalist. No one is going to mistake this for feature in a newspaper or magazine.)

After talking to Stephanie on the phone the first time, I asked her to look over and (if she wanted to) send me the documents the production company had her sign because I wanted to make sure that she wasn't breaking any non-disclosure agreement she may have signed. I couldn't find anything regarding non-disclosure in the documents.

After Stephanie contacted me, I was looking over the traffic that my blog post had generated. I found that I had several referrals from Reddit. I showed Stephanie this screen capture:

Stephanie was irritated at Nev's description of why her episode had never aired and so we went forward with her side of things. As with, apparently, most of the Catfish episodes, it was the "catfish" David/Dawuan who had contacted MTV to tell the story and not the "catfishee" Stephanie as was stated in the episode.

The episode was filmed in June 2012 and was supposed to air on January 29, 2013.

Hi Ho…No Worries: Did Dawaun tell you ahead of time that he contacted MTV?

Stephanie: No he never once told me, I had to find out from a team member from MTV.

HHNW: How surprised were you when MTV contacted you?

S: I was really surprised that MTV had contacted me and wanted to hear my story.

HHNW: You said that you and David had talked with each other for about seven months. Is that seven months prior to when the episode was filmed?

S: Yes

HHNW: How much did MTV communicate with you after the episode was finished taping? 

S: Not at all! And that’s the most disappointing part about it!

HHNW: How officially did MTV tell you that they would not be showing you the episode? What I mean by that was whether it was an email or on the phone or in person? 

S: MTV never contacted me (via email, phone or in person). From the very beginning I was expecting my episode to air according to the contract David and I signed before we started shooting. 

HHNW: How did you find out that Dawuan had seen the episode? 

S: Dawuan sent me a text message stating that he seen the episode and he would do anything in his power to not let the show air. 

HHNW: Did the flow of events happen in real life as they were shown on the episode? 

S: Everything was real EXCEPT the email and text conversations seen on the episode. No email or text messages were saved nor shown. 

HHNW: Did you talk to Nev or Max before they went to your house? Or did you just talk to staff?

S: No, I didn't talk to Nev and Max. I only talked to their staff. Before they would start filming, they had a staff member come to my house every morning just so I wouldn't be camera shy. 

HHNW: What was not shown on the episode about how you had confronted Dawuan at his house? 

S: I continuously told him he was disgusting and a liar, but in a bitchier way. Last day I went to see him, Dawuan had a big hickie in the middle of his neck. I questioned him about it and he just blew it off. Besides that, a lot of things were cut from the episode that I wish would have been seen. 

HHNW: Where the pictures of David shown on the episode the same pictures that you saw when you were talking to Dawuan? 

S: I received only 3 pictures from Dawuan prior to filming the episode. The rest of the pictures, I’ve never seen before. 

HHNW: How long has it been since anyone from MTV contacted you? 

S: Since we stopped filming, which was June 16, 2013. 

HHNW: Why do you think the episode never aired? 

S: Til this day I have no idea why it hasn’t aired. So that’s what I want to know. 

HHNW: In the episode Nev told Dawuan on the phone that you had said that you were going to stop talking to him unless you guys met up that week. Is that a bit of fiction? Had you two already slowed down your talking by then?  

S: No, all that is true. I did tell Nev if Dawuan didn’t agree to meet up with me, I would stop talking to him. Dawuan and I were not talking to each other as much as we did before. 

HHNW: Would you do it again? 

S: I’m not sure if I would do it again but I’m sure the second time around I would be a bit smarter and handle things differently to not be in the situation I was in. 

HHNW: Have you continued online dating?  

S: Yes, actually my last relationship I met him online and he was who he said he was. 

HHNW: What are you up to these days?   

S: I’m working at a nursing part time as a receptionist and I also just Started Community College last week. 

HHNW: Plans for the future? Goals?  

S: Hmmmm…well it’s still being written, and for goals I’m just trying to finish up my schooling and hopefully be done with my major in the next 3 years. 

HHNW: What do you think made you fall for him?  

S: What made me fall for “David” (as the guy I thought he was) was that he was there for me through my toughest times, also how he carried himself to me as this perfect ideal guy that any girl would think they would be happy to have. 

HHNW: Did you ever think he was lying?  

S: At first I didn’t think he was lying to me but as time passed I started adding things up that weren’t making sense to me and I started catching on that there was a big possibility he was lying. 

HHNW: What upsets you the most?  

S: I really would love for my episode to air because I feel many people would be able to relate to my story. I believe I would inspire people around the world because it would teach people to fight and overcome insecurities. They took that possibility away from me and I still don't think it's fair that my episode wasn’t given an opportunity to air. I feel that this show is to expose “The Catfish” and for them not to air my episode shows me how fake MTV really is!

I wanted to give a special acknowledgment to Cybies Chitters for help and support with this project. If you're looking for a videochat & social community, stop by and pull up a virtual chair.


  1. Thank you for this, and thanks, Stephanie, for agreeing to be interviewed.

    It's just so puzzling because this seems pretty straightforward and typical for a Catfish episode. There are some people who have agreed to have their episodes air who are completely insane, so I am curious why Dawuan wasn't willing to allow it.

    Pretty crappy of MTV not to let you know what was going on!

  2. Thanks for posting. I was wondering if there was any way you could make a torrent of the episode so that other people can download it and watch.

  3. I will say that it is in the process of being available through someone else. When it is, I'll post a link.

  4. Good to hear that you are considering posting the episode in some way.

    She deserves a chance to share her story, even if its heavily edited for tv.

  5. Great Blog!

    Stephanie is amazing.

    "The Friend"

  6. Awesome job, good luck Stephanie!

  7. Yes, finally. I'll be interested to see if it has been edited from the episode I have seen.

  8. Have you talked to Stephanie anytime this past month about the episode or have you talked to her at all since the interview??? Has she said anything about MTV contacting her to let her know that it's supposed to be airing?

  9. Yes, I have spoken to Stephanie a few times in the past month. She said that someone from MTV had called and talked to her and said that they would be airing an episode about her episode as well as some other unaired episodes. MTV did not specifically tell her when the episode would air. Stephanie found out about it when she saw a commercial for it.

  10. Gotcha. And do you think they mean other unaired Catfish episodes or just unaired episodes for a different show in general? I didn't think they had anymore unaired episodes

  11. I assumed they meant Catfish, but can't say with certainty.

  12. This episode aired tonight and made him seem like much more of a good person than this interview insists...I actually felt bad for him in watching the episode. In the episode she clearly stated she felt she left things in peace and that things were okay. It's weird how in this interview she's saying he had hickies on his neck, etc.

    1. I never understood why Dewaun pulled his consent. He definitely wasn't the worst catfish that has aired.

  13. Was the episode any different than you remember?

    1. The only difference was the scene where Nev & Max meet the Charlie Chaplin impersonator. I suspect that the music was either different or missing in the original version, but I don't feel like checking.

  14. Well it's been shown now. Bit of an anti-climax to be honest. Neither catfish or fishee stood out as that special, he was nothing more than your average catfish tv wannabe, and she came across as aggressive and shallow. He was clearly more upset about losing her as a friend, than she was about losing the non-existent Darren who she apparently loved. Nowadays it is cftv that makes the catfish, and not the catfishing making the tv show, it has come full circle. More catfish now are at it just for a chance of being on mtv and making a a quick buck. I swear that most of the time it is mtv being catfished by a pair of frauds too, as the next episode will appear to expose, but I bet it isn't the first time, or the last!
    (excuse me if I post this twice, I am trying to work out how to sign in here...)

  15. Does anyone know what happened to Dawaun?

  16. The weirdest thing I noticed when I started watching Steph's episode on Hulu is Nev's affection towards her. Like honestly I'm on my way of finishing 3 seasons (following season 6, finished 4&5, half way season 1) of CatFish and I never see Nev that affectionate towards any catfishee. Like I notice his body language, his eye contact when looking at her, his hugs, etc. Idk if I'm picking up on things that are not there but I felt like Nev has some sort of a crush for Steph?