For the past 15 years, a little show called Cheaters has captivated an audience that either a) likes to get drunk while watching the CW on Saturday nights or b) doesn't work and likes watching people getting caught cheating on a reality TV show at 9 a.m. We're talking millions of viewers tuning in every week to see some shit hit the fan.
For the uninitiated, Cheaters' entire premise is stalking those who could possibly be cheating on their significant others and exposing them in a dramatic segment featuring a camera crew, security, and some dude walking around in all black like, "Why are you cheating on her, though?!" Basically, it was the best show out there that, taken at face value, is the voyeur's dream—the ability to be a fly on the wall of a relationship in peril.
Also, it's probably definitely staged.
One of the show's best moments occurred on an episode in 2003 when a woman contacted Cheaters about her boyfriend and his alleged cheating, and led to Cheaters investigators eventually finding homeboy frolicking with his mistress in a boat off some random dock.
In the scene you see up above, the episode climaxed with a violent altercation between the wiry cheater ("Mitchell") of a boyfriend and the show's second host, Joey Greco. Joey ended up getting stabbed in the ordeal, with all kinds of security and crew members trying to restore some order. The boyfriend was seen subdued while Greco lay on the boat, bleeding out from his stomach.
Amazing television, right? Hell, the clip still holds up 12 years later... even after Inside Edition reported that the entire story was staged. A woman by the name of Cassandra Terrazas said she was paid $350 to portray "the other woman," and that the entire ordeal was filmed on a dock owned by a Cheaters producer. While it looked like Mitchell was being taken away by the police after stabbing Greco, there was reportedly no evidence of any arrests for that ordeal during the time this was said to have been filmed. The ambulance was rented, Greco was using fake blood, and the entire thing was allegedly scripted.
Now, that's just one side of the story. The problem is, the other side—the side of Cheaters crew—hasn't really ever been revealed. When asked directly about the episode's authenticity, as well as the authenticity of the show in general back in 2010, Greco and Cheaters producers either remained mum on the details of this episode or outright denied that they were staging events. Executive producer Bobby Goldstein did give Inside Edition an interesting quote, though:
"But let me say this, if it was all poppycock, it sure did good in the ratings."
For what it's worth, that's all that matters...for producers. For fans, especially those who are invested in these scandalous stories, it can go either way. You suspend your disbelief, and you're treated to some shit that looks as real as can be, and might even be a deterrent to you cheating on bae. Or it can just be a wild tale that turns into water cooler talk at work the following Monday. The ultimate question is simple, though: