Is the Reality Show ‘Cheaters’ Real or Scripted? The Truth behind the Stabbing Story Also Inside
Cheaters is a syndicated show that millions of viewers have watched for over two decades since it first aired in October 2000.
The syndicated reality television series presented by a host ran for 21 seasons on various platforms till it ended in 2021 and was reprised again on the free streaming platform, Pluto TV, in 2022.
The same year, the FilmRise network acquired the digital rights of the reality series from Goldestein Pictures Corporation.
In its long tenure, the show saw altogether of four hosts, including original host Tonny Habeeb (2000 to 2002), Joey Greco (2002 to mid-2012, 2015), Clark James Gable (2012 to 2019), and Peter Gunz (2020 to 2021).
Read the full article to know about the frequently asked questions about the show, including answers on whether the show is real or fake.
What's the Plot of Cheaters?
The show is based on a simple premise: people are allowed to check their insecurities in their relationships in relation to their concerns of adultery or cheating.
If you suspect your partner has been unfaithful in the relationship, you can reach out to the show on its website. Should the show decide to accept your case, the "Cheaters Detective Agency" will then dispatch a surveillance crew.
The crew, armed with cameras and private detectives, would then follow the accused for days and sometimes weeks until they find incriminating evidence against the accused party.
Once you have your hands on the evidence that the show's detectives found, you would have the option of confronting the unfaithful partner.
The entire process would be filmed to be later aired for millions of other viewers to watch for entertainment.
The most viewed part of the show, of course, would be an outraged partner confronting the cheating partner, usually involved in the act.
Although the show begins with a notice that reads:
From 'Cheaters's surveillance cameras, you are about to view actual true stories, filmed live, documenting the pain of a spouse or lover caused by infidelity.
The notice then claims that the intent behind this coverage was to encourage the "renewal of temperance and virtue" in the couples watching the show.
Still, over the years, many have questioned,
Is Cheaters Scripted?
As per the shreds of evidence that have come forward, the show has both real and scripted elements to it.
There have been reports on the basis of which one can strongly allege that the show has both scripted and real episodes or a mixture of both
If you didn't know, the show's ending shows a legal message that reiterates the reality of each episode.
But, The Houston Press quoted a Federal Communications Commission representative who said that there was no rule to regulate someone to stop presenting scripted scenarios as a reality on television.
Back in 2002, the magazine ran an investigation in which it found out that one of the show's detectives paid $400 per episode upfront and $50 as a conditional referral fee to several people.
One performer revealed, "What [the show's private detective] told me was that some of the episodes are real, but... they would do these ringer episodes to supplement the show."
However, the magazine reported that one of the show's investigators denied the scripted rumors stating that the show selected participants from a large number of inquiries. The individual deemed staging plots unnecessary.
Similarly, an exclusive report put together by Inside Edition in 2009 pointed out that the show Cheaters was heavily scripted.
In fact, many of the alleged partners and cheaters were actually paid up to 500 dollars to act as if they were cheating on their partners or broken up upon knowing that their partner was cheating.
Some former case subjects went so far as to claim that they didn't even know the people they were acting out scenes with beforehand.
Cari Wyatt, a former "cheater" caught on the show, told the outlet that she was paid 500 dollars when she was a 19-year-old to pretend that she was having an affair with a man outside of her engagement.
Wyatt explicitly said that she had never been engaged in real life.
She also confirmed that she had never met her on-screen fiance or boyfriend before the day they started shooting.
Similarly, another strong evidence that the show relied on scripted elements for popularity would be how the episode where the host Joe Greco gets stabbed played out.
And it was surely one of the most tragic yet memorable moments in the show's history — the show host Joey Greco getting stabbed by the angry cheating boyfriend.
The show had made it look like a confrontation had gone sour, and in the altercation that ensued, the show host was stabbed in the stomach.
The showrunners supposedly called 911 and the host received attention from the paramedics, and the one who stabbed him got arrested.
But later when the local authorities were asked to shed some light on the matter, they revealed that no such incident had occurred on the day that the show's producers claimed.
According to The Inside Edition, a Dallas hotel representative named Cassandra Terrazas received $350 to act as the cheating boyfriend's affair for a few days.
Terrazas revealed that she was paid to be caught having an affair with the man.
Not only she disclosed that the boat and ambulance were rented, but she also told the television show that she was told by the producer to lay on the boat with the man sunbathing while they would arrive on the next boat to catch them having an affair.
What's worse, when the Cheaters' executive producer Bobby Goldstein was asked by Inside Edition which hospital the show's host was taken to when he was stabbed, he couldn't come up with an answer, according to Inside Edition.
Even then, the producer Bobby Goldstein remained adamant that the show was not at all scripted and that the events were being captured live, as it was taking place in real life.
He said he remembered visiting Joey in the hospital where the outspoken host was pale and scared.
At last, Goldstein implied to Edition that the antics were good for ratings even if they were not based on reality.
Note: When Inside Edition's investigative reporter Matt Meagher asked Greco for an interview to discuss the truth of the program, Greco said that he couldn't do it because of legal reasons.
But still, there are numerous pieces of evidence that point out that the show didn't always script its plots.
One such example would be the real-life indictment of Greco and the crew on 16 December 2006 for restraining an Arlington woman whom they suspected of infidelity.
When will the New Season of Cheaters be Released?
The Cheaters website doesn't reveal when the upcoming season will be released.
Until the release of the new season, fans can tune up to the companion podcast, Dear Cheaters, which can be viewed on the Youtube channel Cheaters TV.