As we previously reported, MTV has temporarily suspended production on Catfish after a former cast member has come forward with sexual misconduct allegations against show host Nev Schulman. Ayissha Morgan, who was 22 years old and already openly gay at the time her episode was filmed in 2015, posted a two-part video detailing her allegations on Youtube, and we have put together a recap of her claims below.
I should point out up front that the worst allegation is actually against a production assistant that Ayissha refers to as Carol. Ayissha describes a scene in which Carol brings a large amount of alcohol to Ayissha’s hotel room before later taking advantage of Ayissha after she passed out. All of the allegations against Nev are about his aggressive flirtations and advances, which were all allegedly spurned.
Ayissha, who previously went by the name Ayissha Wright but now goes by Ayissha Morgan, starts her video by saying that she debated for a long time about coming forward before finally deciding that, since the show is still on the air, she should share her story in case she wasn’t the only one who experienced what she claims to have gone through.
“I don’t want anything from these people,” Ayissha says of those she is making the claims against. “I’m well off, I own a business. My bank account’s looking good, so I definitely don’t need any money!”
When sharing details about what she says happened, Ayissha is careful to use the names Jack and John as the co-hosts, with Jack being the “main person.” All of the reactions — including MTV’s suspension of the show and Nev’s statement — are assuming that Jack is Nev.
Ayissha claims that Jack started hitting on her just 20 minutes after they met for the first time in person, and continued pretty much any time the cameras stopped rolling. Despite Ayissha repeatedly pointing out that she is a lesbian (which fans of the show will know as it was a major part of her story), she says Jack continued to pressure her to go out, insisting that she must be bisexual.
She says things escalated once they flew to Houston and Jack stepped up his woo pitching by telling Ayissha that she should try sleeping with a man before boasting: “I have a big d**k. I would tear your a** up.”
Ayissha swears to God that she is telling the truth before declaring with frustration: “The way you portray yourself on TV is totally different than the jackass you are in person.”
Once they arrive at their hotel, Jack first fools Ayissha into thinking there was a mix up and they have been assigned the same hotel room, before he then reveals he is joking. “But I can be in [your room],” he offered.
Jack did go up to her room later and Ayissha says the two of them were sitting on separate beds watching TV. Ayissha says she was doing her thing, posting on Instagram, etc. — and Jack eventually asked her if she wanted to smoke. She declined, and Jack allegedly followed up by asking: “Do you want to cuddle?”
Ayissha says she declined again and said it was time that she went to sleep — alone. Jack was cool and left. But then, Ayissha says her Instagram started blowing up with comments from Jack! She says she screen capped some of them, but those weren’t shared in the video. She also says that some of her followers were freaking out that Jack was commenting on her photos, and that she had to make up some kind of story because no one was supposed to know that she was filming for Catfish.
The next day, Ayissha heard the cast and crew talking at length about how much Jack is an a**hole and nobody likes him. She says she talked with some of them about Jack’s aggressive flirting, and they said they were not surprised.
After filming the meet up scene with Sydney and later returning to the hotel, most of the cast and crew were reportedly downstairs at the hotel bar while Ayissha was in her room. She says that her phone was broken at the time, and she clarifies with a text overlay:
I had to get a new phone sent to my house, so they cut the service off the phone I had, which meant that I could only use my phone on WIFI, and the wifi SUCKED.
[This part seems a little odd given that her story from the night before involved lots of Instagramming.]
Ayissha says that she texted a production assistant she had bonded with named Carol to let her know that she was feeling alone, and Carol later arrived at her hotel door with “two large beers.” The two talked for a long while without drinking too much before Carol suggests they have a chugging contest.
The beer hit Ayissha pretty hard, but she makes it a point to state that she is not sure that she was drugged. Carol, who is also a lesbian, pitches the idea of returning to her room to avoid the appearance of impropriety. (I guess a production member in a crew member’s room is bad, but not the other way around?) She assures Ayissha that she has two beds, but after Ayissha agrees and they arrive in Carol’s room, there is only one bed.
“The last thing I remember is the drunk hitting me like a ton of rocks,” Ayissha says.
She talks about going in and out of consciousness, and at one point Ayissha says she woke up and Carol was on top of her. At this point, the video cuts out and we see this message:
I decided not to go into detail about what happened out of respect for myself, and other reasons I cannot explain.This situation is so serious and is nothing to play with. So not only was this hard to film, due to the nature of the allegations, It is not appropriate for all audiences.
Ayissha says that she was laughingstock among the crew the next day, and they joked about how Carol always gets lucky, etc.
Later, Ayissha was in the lobby of the hotel waiting because her producer had her room key, when Jack suggested they could go to his room and hang out — with John (believed to be Max). Ayissha agreed, but John would soon leave. From Ayissha:
So me and Jack were just talking or whatever and everything was cool at first. And then he hands me a piece of paper and the piece of paper says “Do you find me attractive?” and all this stuff…
I made a joke basically and said: “Oh, you should hire me as your female co-host, and he goes: “Oh, is that something you’d want to do? What do you willing to do for it?”
“Nothing. So never mind.”
She says that she was pretty much numb to Jack’s comments at this point.
Jack then reveals that he had heard about Ayissha and Carol and he asked for details. She pointed out that she didn’t really remember anything.
“You don’t know what you did?” Jack asked. Ayissha says no, and she says Jack followed up with: “Well how about you do what you did to Carol but on me?” She says at this point Jack laid on the bed and he grabbed her arm.
Ayissha says she pulled her arm away, got her phone, walked out, and sat by her hotel door until her room key was returned to her. That was the end of the recent two-part video.
Ayissha shared another video about her experience doing the show back in January. I watched the video in its entirety, and was about 20 minutes in when I became very suspicious of the fact that there was NO mention of ANY sort of impropriety on the part of the Catfish crew. But later in the clip, she does bring it up:
I think more than anything, being on the show is — how can I say this without getting sued — a lot of things happen filming that you should never let happen, especially when I’m flying with the crew and I feel like you kind of let things happen to me that shouldn’t have happened. Yeah, I guess just leave it at that. Things happen that will never be OK, and, you know, people just don’t want to own up to things and they don’t really care, so all I have to say is that MTV can kiss my ass because they let me — I don’t really have too much against every– I can’t say I have anything against the network as a whole but anybody who was involved that knows what happened and didn’t do anything, shame on you. You know who you are and you’re gonna have to live with that for the rest your life so that’s that.
This story has exploded today, so I feel confident that if there is ANY truth to what Ayissha says of Nev’s aggressive sexual advances towards her and the crew’s awareness of there being a pattern of similar actions in the past, we will know more soon. Nev has been making the show so many years with so many people involved (including crew and former cast members), that if there have been other incidents, people are going to talk — thanks in large part to the cultural shift over the past year. However, Ayissha’s story seems reliant upon there being a pattern, so if no one comes forward, then I think it becomes harder to believe her claims.
Here are all three videos posted by Ayissha:
Asa Hawks is a writer and editor for Starcasm.