In a twist that seems more like UnReal than an actual reality show, “America’s Next Top Model” contestant Angela Preston was stripped of her top model title in cycle 17 after producers learned she had worked as an escort. She’s suing Tyra Bank’s covergirl-making series for breach of contract, and in a new interview with the Daily Mail, Preston opens up about the mistreatment and harsh conditions that have come to seem like the norm for reality sets.
According to Preston, the contestants are forced to film for 16 or 17 hours without food or water, kept in a pre-production room and barred from eating, drinking or talking until called upon for filming. She also claims that, during an anxiety attack, the producers withheld medical care in order to get dramatic footage for the show.
Tyra, she claims, breezes in and out of the set: “I used to admire Tyra so much. I wanted to be like her. I don’t want to be like her now. Tyra was non-existent. The only time we saw Tyra was at panel. Tyra never came in to talk to us personally.”
If you’re a fan (or a hate-watcher) of reality TV, chances are you’ve heard all of this before. But Preston also alleges that after her portrayal on the show in cycle 14, the only work she could find was as a sex worker. “People viewed me as ghetto and a bitch, impossible to work with,” she said. “I remember the producers telling me, ‘This is going to change your life.’ When you hear that you think all your dreams are going to come true. Well it changed my life. But it changed it for the worse.” She then went on to lose her Top Model All Stars title in cycle 17 due to this escort work – the producers claim it went on for a year, she says one month. While Preston waits for her day in court, we’re now on cycle 22 of ANTM.