"This is the true story of seven strangers, picked to live in a house to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real," says the voiceover at the start of MTV's long-running reality series The Real World. Now the music cabler's cast and crew are about to find out exactly how real.
According to the Los Angeles Times, police are investigating the alleged rape of a 22-year-old woman at the three-story oceanfront house on North Harbor Drive in San Diego, Calif., where that reality show is currently being taped.
The alleged victim, not a participant on the show, told police she met a man at a nearby nightclub on November 14 who said he knew the Real World cast members, and believes he may have spiked her drink before taking her to the house and raping her. A female cast member found her and helped her to a bedroom before arranging for her to go home.
The attack purportedly took place in one of the two bathrooms--the only rooms where there are no cameras.
Some of the cast members, whose lives in the house are constantly taped, have been interviewed as potential witnesses. According to a statement, one cast member described the woman to authorities as being "disoriented and having difficulty speaking" when she staggered out of the bathroom, while another castmate said she saw the woman naked. Another told police the woman's alleged attacker bragged, "I just hit that," The Times reports.
Capt. David Ramirez of the department's sex crimes unit told The Times that so far, no tapes verifying the allegations about filming the rape have been uncovered and that none of the seven cast members or crew on the show is under suspicion.
According to a search warrant, a rape examination of the woman found injuries consistent with a sex attack as well as abrasions and lacerations.
On Nov. 19, police seized videotapes, DVDs, pornographic magazines and business cards from the house, as well as a computer, a set of brass knuckles, bedding and trash from wastebaskets. They also took film from the 30 cameras that monitor the house 24 hours a day.
The San Diego County district attorney's investigators also seized tapes from the show's producer, Bunim-Murray Production, in Van Nuys, The Times reports.
"The producers of The Real World and the cast are co-operating fully with local authorities investigating an incident that may have occurred at The Real World house," Bunim-Murray said in a statement. "None of the cast or crew members had any involvement in this incident."
Production on the The Real World San Diego has been underway since August, with the episodes set to air in January as the show enters its 14th season.