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:
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?
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?
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.
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.