CHICAGO (CN) – An investigation agency claims it was ruined by a firm that did a slipshod background check on “reality” TV star Ryan Jenkins, who allegedly murdered his wife, dismembered her body and then killed himself. Collective Intelligence says it was hired to screen contestants for the VH1 show “Megan Wants a Millionaire,” but could not check Jenkins’ background in Canada, so it hired defendant Straightline International to do it.
Collective says Straightline told it Jenkins had no criminal record, though in fact he had a conviction for domestic assault on a girlfriend, according to the complaint in Cook County Court.
In August, Jenkins killed his wife, model Jasmine Fiore, dismembered her body, then fled to Canada and killed himself in a hotel, according to the complaint.
VH1 canceled the show, as well as “I Love Money 3,” on which Jenkins also appeared, to distance itself from media scrutiny, the complaint states.
Collective claims that Viacom, which owns VH1, CBS and MTV, ended its relationship with Collective over the mistake.
Collective says Straightline did not request a background check on Jenkins from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as expected, but instead got its erroneous information from a court clerk in Alberta.
Collective claims Straightline will not answer or return phone calls and will not provide it with more information about the background check it did on Jenkins.
Collective claims it has more than 90 clients in the entertainment industry and now its reputation is tarnished. It says that Viacom, ABC and NBC have since rejected it as a screener for their shows.
Collective seeks damages for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, negligence, fraud, and tortious interference.
It is represented by Louis Chronowski with Seyfarth Shaw.