'Big Brother 2's' Krista Sues CBS

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

10:00 PM PT

Sometimes 15 minutes of fame is not enough.

A mere week before 12 new house guests enter the "Big Brother" house, one of last year's group is grabbing headlines with a lawsuit against CBS, the network that airs the summer reality show.

Krista Stegall, the single mother and former waitress from Opelousas, La. filed charges last week against CBS, several production companies and assorted insurers, stating that fellow contestant Justin Sebik should never have been allowed on the show.

During the first couple weeks of "Big Brother 2," Sebik and Stegall struck up a flirtation. One night, after drinking, they kissed in the kitchen of the house, when Sebik picked up a kitchen knife, held it to Stegall's throat and asked if she would be "mad" if he killed her. Stegall responded by giggling and the couple resumed kissing.

Sebik, who had been warned about some of his negative comments and violent tendencies previously, was immediately dismissed from the house by the show's producers.

The New Jersey bartender was then found to have been arrested on assault charges in 1996 and charged with assault and theft in 1997. Allegedly, neither of the incidents came to light during CBS' background checks of the contestants.

"I don't think there's any doubt [CBS] made a huge mistake letting him in and keeping him in," says Stegall's attorney, Clayton Burgess.

>Following Sebik's dismissal, Stegall took up with another houseguest -- a Los Angeles bar owner who proposed to her on the show's finale.

She accepted, but the engagement didn't last. Stegall returned to Louisiana and is now a radio personality in Lafayette.

Sebik was arrested again for assault this past January after his girlfriend was found walking down the street with choke marks on her neck and a broken ankle.

CBS spokesman Nancy Carr tells the AP, "We think there is no merit to [Stegall's] lawsuit and we are prepared to defend it vigorously."

"Big Brother 3" premieres Wednesday, July 10 at 9 p.m. ET.