Reality TV show cancelled; St. Maarten government wants its money back – Head butting Chad Johnson costs St. Maarten $90,000POSTED: 08/16/12 12:30 PM
GREAT BAY- The St. Maarten government confirmed yesterday that it may be going after the approximately $90,000.00 that was paid to reality TV star Evelyn Lozada and her NFL husband Chad Johnson for prime promotion of St.Maarten as the destination of choice for their July wedding.
Lozada filed for divorce on Tuesday ending a 41 day old marriage to Johnson after the football star was arrested for allegedly head-butting her over the weekend. Lozada has alleged that the altercation occurred after she questioned the football star about a receipt for condoms that she had found.
The two were wed on July 4 at Le Chateau des Palmiers and the entire nuptials was filmed for a new reality TV show on VH1 called Ev & Ocho. While filming took place here last month, every detail was veiled in secrecy. Only a select few were allowed to witness the proceedings and everyone had to sign a non-disclosure agreement, so that the couple could have exclusive rights to all of their images. They had planned to cash in big on the rite of passage. Members of the media were also asked to embargo all details surrounding the celebrities on the island until the show’s grand premier on September 3.
Now VH1 says that it has no choice but to shelve the project because of all of the negative publicity surrounding the couple’s split.
The airing of the show would have given St.Maarten additional publicity as a tourist destination but like all other business ventures was an investment with a risk that the government was well aware of, Finance Minister Roland Tuitt said on Wednesday.
“It’s like if you invest in a marketing program. It is a risk you take when you are in business and you are investing and if the risk happens then you have to deal with the consequences.”
He indicated that a contract had been signed and contained clauses that St.Maarten could very well use to recover its money if it is not returned voluntarily.
Prime Minister Sarah Wescott-Williams said that the matter was still to be discussed at the level of the Council of Ministers to determine what definitive action will be taken by the government.