7 On Your Side: Actors say when it came time to pay, reality show ghosted them

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Wednesday, December 15, 2021
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The pair had gotten nowhere with recouping the $1,000 each they say they were owed until they called Nina Pineda and 7 On Your Side.

FLATBUSH, Brooklyn (WABC) -- It was a new TV show called "The Mediator," with a famous host who resolved disputes over video conference calls between two parties.

After appearing on the show, two participants say it is the problem and that they were owed thousands in promised fees.

When the virtual reality series premiered on television last spring, rapper and actor Ice-T mediated a dispute between former couple Christie DeBenedictis and Josine Maio.

The fight was over a trip to San Francisco the two took after meeting on a dating website during the coronavirus pandemic.

DeBenedictis and Maio are both aspiring actors and decided to participate in the new series which was taped on February 14.

"We were happy to participate, why weren't we being paid, two days after the show aired and nothing,"Maio said.

"Nobody got back to us, I emailed again, I called, dead silence," DeBenedictis said.

They said they were promised an appearance fee of $1,000 each.

"We worked hard, we worked at least 10-11 days on Zoom because it was during COVID," Maio said.

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The pair said the 800 number to the show was no longer working and then they got dissed by the show producers.

"I felt used, I felt lied to and I was kind of scared to ever apply for another gig," DeBenedictis said.

Christie has since moved to Los Angeles and Josine, a retired hairdresser, said both performers trying to get gigs in the business need the money.

"We went out there and we aired all this stuff and weren't even paid and it was just horrible, it was like is this really happening," Maio said.

So they called Nina Pineda and 7 On Your Side to mediate with "The Mediator."

7 On Your Side was able to contact the executive in charge of the show who initially said he wasn't aware of anyone being owed money from the show.

As soon as he heard from 7 On Your Side, he sent the entire appearance fee via Zelle and PayPal.

"Thank you so much, you guys really took initiative to get the ball rolling, if it wasn't for you guys, I'd probably never get paid," DeBenedictis said.

"I was just amazed, I said wow, I should have called 7 On Your Side like a long time ago,"Maio said.

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