Transgender 90 Day Fiancé star Nikki Exotika (Nicole Sanders) is no stranger to reality TV. The 47-year-old has filmed for numerous shows over the years, including E!’s Botched almost a decade ago.
As it turns out, Nikki’s appearance on the show was botched as she was cut before the season aired — resulting in Nikki being homeless?!
“I lost everything,” Nikki claimed in a Facebook video posted in July of 2014. “I’m very distraught with everything that’s gone down with the TV show Botched.”
So, what did go down? We’ve combed through lots of Nikki’s social media posts and put together a full narrative for you!
Nikki Exotika on Botched
In early January of 2014, Nikki posted a video on YouTube revealing that she had moved from New York City to Los Angeles. “As soon as I got here, I went to two castings for two different TV shows,” Nikki said. “I got chosen for one of them for E! channel. So, that will be airing the summer. I can’t really say too much about it. It’s about plastic surgery.”
Nikki said that she also auditioned for something called Transamerica (or Trans America). I couldn’t find any additional information on that project. (It’s not the Felicity Huffman movie, because that came out in 2005.)
In another Facebook video, Nikki provided a full recap of what happened after she was cast for Botched.
“They booked me for my nose and my breasts, because they were gonna fix my nose to make it look better,” Nikki recalled. However, that plan changed. “They opted right when we were filming that they were not gonna do my nose. So, I was kind of, like, taken aback from them saying ‘no.'”
Nikki revealed the decision to not not fix her nose had her questioning whether she still wanted to do the show at all. But, she eventually followed through. “They persuaded me to just get it done.”
After having surgery on her breasts, Nikki had complications. “I had a drain for two weeks, and then they took out the drain and I kept draining fluid.” Nikki said she had to go in for another procedure, and that she had to have the drain for another two weeks as a result.
“That was one month out of work,” Nikki pointed out. “ONE MONTH!”
Making matters much worse for Nikki was her lack of fiscal preparation for potential complications after surgery.
“No, I didn’t have money saved, like an idiot,” she humbly admitted. “I didn’t have money saved in my bank account because I just spent $16,000 to move to Los Angeles, to get my apartment, to get everything moved across, to do everything, to driving cross country.”
Nikki said that she was unable to work for a month, but her rent still had to be paid. That resulted in an eviction, and a lot of regret. From Nikki:
I asked for help from the company. Not gonna say names, but the production company, and they said they couldn’t help me.
So I said, ‘I’m about to be evicted.’ And they were, like, ‘Well, there’s nothing we can do about it.’
Then they still wanted me to film the finale — the big reveal. So, I filmed it, as upset as I was.
And then the next day I moved out. I put all my stuff in storage. I moved back to New York.
I waited a couple months. And I saw the coming attractions coming for the show. And I didn’t see myself anywhere in the commercial, which I thought was kind of odd.
And then, by episode four, I noticed people who were before me on the show. So, I said, ‘OK, I’m gonna be on next week. I’m gonna be on next week.’ And I was all excited. Nope, they didn’t even air it.
So then I called up the president of the production company and he said, ‘Yeah, we just decided to go to a different direction,’ and this and that. I said, ‘I lost everything because of that show. Like, I lost my whole life.’
I went out there to pursue acting, to be to be a star, and so that was taken from me.
I learned a valuable lesson, and I would never put myself in that predicament ever again.
E! responds to Nikki Exotika being cut from Botched
The New York Daily News did an article on Nikki Exotika being snipped from Botched, but they spoke with sources who told a slightly different story than what Nikki claimed.
One insider told the Daily News that Nikki was a “diva” and “very demanding,” and that was the main reason she was cut.
Another source concurred about Nikki being difficult to work with. “She became more of a diva and a liability from the beginning of her involvement and was very demanding,” the second source claimed. “I am sure she was cut due to how she acted and treated people on the show, to be honest.”
However, the source did leave the door open for the possibility that Nikki was unfairly treated. “She also has her own side to tell, and it could be that they did not want to show someone with bad surgical results,” the source admitted.
The Daily News reached out to E! and a rep from the network replied, “E! was under no legal obligation to include this patient’s story in series and creatively went in another direction.”