Catfish host Nev Schulman has denied the sexual misconduct allegations against him, saying, "these claims are false."
In an exclusive statement to The Blast, Schulman said, "The behavior described in this video did not happen and I’m fortunate that there are a number of former colleagues who were present during this time period who are willing to speak up with the truth."
"I have always been transparent about my life and would always take responsibility for my actions – but these claims are false," he then added.
The video that Schulman is referencing is a clip, also shared by the outlet, that features a woman named Ayissha Morgan who once appeared on the show.
Morgan, who is a lesbian, has reportedly accused Schulman of hitting on her by saying that he could "turn her straight," and that he would "tear your a— up."
In addition to Schulman's denial, The Blast reports that a longtime staff member of Catfish told them that he has "the full support of the staff," and that they believe Morgan's story to be "inconsistent."
The staff reportedly claims that shooting schedules for the show conflict with the details of Morgan's story, and that they feel she is taking "advantage of her situation" amidst the current social climate of exposing sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry.
Previously, it was reported that MTV has suspended production on Catfish amid a sexual misconduct investigation into Schulman.
According to PEOPLE, a spokesperson for MTV stated, “We take these allegations very seriously. We’re working with Critical Content, our third party production company, to conduct a thorough investigation.”
Interestingly, this is not the first time Schulman has faced intense scrutiny while working on the show, as back in 2014 he released a book titled In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age, in which is revealed a story about punching a girl, as reported by Vulture.
"I decided to photograph the school’s annual Sleaze Ball, a night of debauchery, drugs, and girls dressed primarily in lingerie," Schulman's story began. "While I was photographing, an individual who didn’t like that I was taking pictures attempted to tackle me and smash my camera on the ground."0comments
"Since the camera was attached to a strap around my neck, I found myself in a very unpleasant situation, much like a dog with a choke collar. In an effort to free myself, I punched the person and ran off; when I returned minutes later, I discovered that the short, stocky, crew-cut-styled individual that I’d fought with was a woman — a fact I hadn’t been aware of in the heat of the moment," he went on to reveal. "The next thing I knew, I’d been arrested."
He later added that "the case was dismissed almost immediately, but Sarah Lawrence took the opportunity to toss me out once and for all. I never even finished my junior year." Many criticized the MTV host for his attitude toward the incident, citing things like referring to the woman as a "short, stocky, crew-cut-styled individual" as being insensitive.