'The Proposal' Episode Pulled by ABC After Contestant Accused of Facilitating Sexual Assault
By Paige Gawley
ABC has pulled the second episode of The Proposal following allegations of facilitating a sexual assault against one of its male contestants.
"An allegation has been made against a contestant on next week’s episode of The Proposal,"ABC and Warner Horizon told ET in a joint statement on Friday. "While the accusation was not related to the contestant’s appearance on the program, we take it very seriously. ABC and the producers of The Proposal are pulling the episode while this matter is under review."
On Thursday, Milwaukee-based Erica Denae Meshke posted a lengthy statement on Facebook detailing what allegedly happened when she met up with one of the show's contestants — she later added a screenshot of contestant Michael J. Friday to the comment section of her post.
Meshke alleges that in November 2017 she agreed to meet Friday in the entertainment room of an apartment complex after matching with him on Tinder. She claims that when she arrived, Friday was with "two other 50ish year-old men" and eventually left her alone with them. Meshke now believes that one of the drinks she accepted from the men was spiked.
"I was taken to an apartment upstairs by one of the older men, and the things I endured for the next 5 hours were unspeakable," Meshke claims in her statement, further alleging: "I was threatened afterwards, and told that he was very 'powerful' and would 'find me' if I told anyone what he did."
Since then, Meshke claims she has posted an anonymous warning on a Facebook page and alleges that she has run into Friday at least once at a bar.
"I ran into this person once since at a bar and confronted him, after he attempted to buy me a drink," she writes. "Once I reminded him of who I was, he acknowledged his part in that evening, and tried to argue with me and justify what he did, but was promptly asked to leave the bar by employees/my friends."
You can read her full post below.
The Proposal is from the minds behind the Bachelorfranchise, including creator Mike Fleiss. The show is hosted by Bachelor alum Jesse Palmer.
"The judge ordered him to stay away from the victim and attend three Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week during those two years," the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office told ET in a statement. "If he complies with the judge’s orders, he will not have to serve out his term, but if he fails to comply with those orders or re-offends, he could be ordered to serve out the year behind bars. By law, he is expected to register as a sex offender."
Another current Bachelorette contestant, Garrett Yrigoyen, came under fire recently for allegedly liking Instagram posts which mock transgender people, feminists, immigrants and Parkland shooting survivors. He has since apologized.
The pulled Proposal episode — in which Friday was, according to ABC, eliminated in the first round — was set to air on Monday, June 25. A source tells ET that a decision about which episode will replace it will be made on Friday.