If you’re not familiar with the show Cheaters, here’s a quick brief of the premise: folks who suspect that their partner is cheating on them hire investigator Joey Greco and his crew to snoop around and catch the cheater in action. It’s the perfect blend of drama, mystery, suspense, and sleazy arguments in front of the camera – precisely what people like.
But the show has got its viewers wondering – who is the real cheater here? The people starring on the show, or the producers themselves? Is Cheaters staged?
Let’s get into this mess of a show and find out what’s real and what’s fake.
“Cast Members” Earned Money for Being on the Show
According to The Houston Press, several people who were featured on the show admitted to earning 400 whopping dollars a day just for appearing on the program. They published that “The show’s concept from the outset was a mixture of fact and fantasy, but somewhere along the road to national syndication, the temptation to use faux cheaters must have started looking sweet.”
They describe the show as one that is “as formulaic as Full House.” Every episode is the same shebang: The suspected cheater is caught meeting an unknown person, then there’s the lying phone call, and then, finally, the cameras confront them in person.
The Stabbing Was Also Completely Staged
In an episode from 2003, during one of the most dramatic confrontation scenes ever, Greco and his crew tracked down a shirtless fellow accused of cheating on his girlfriend. He was out sailing on a boat with his mistress, and instead of waiting for them to get back to shore, the team rented their own boat and followed them.
They confronted them out at sea, and the angry confrontation led to the cheater stabbing detective Joey Greco. According to Inside Edition, the “ambulance was rented, the blood was fake, and everything was scripted right down to the person who fell off the boat.”
It Was All Set Up
“It was all set up,” said Cassandra Terrazas, a Dallas hotel receptionist, who was paid $350 for a few days of playing the mistress. “They just rented a boat for us, and we were supposed to be out like we were fishing, and I was supposed to be sunbathing, and then they were going to come up on another boat and catch us.”
At the time, the show claimed the stabber was arrested and charged by local police. Still, Police Department’s spokesperson corrected that falsehood and stated that “There were no arrests at all during that period for that type of crime.”
When Confronted With the Evidence…
Executive producer and creator of the show, Bobby Goldstein (who argued that he was “positive” everything on Cheaters was real) told Inside Edition: “It was represented to me that this incident actually occurred.”
Goldstein also said that he even visited Greco in the hospital after the stabbing. He reported: “My recollection is that he was very pale, very frail, very scared, but he was very courageous. But let me say this, if it was all poppycock, it sure did great in the ratings.”
No Ambulance Was Called to Save the Day
Adding more fuel to this scandalous and staged fire is that no actual ambulance was called to treat Joey Greco, and no records of medical treatment were ever found. Despite Bobby Goldstein’s insistence that he visited Greco, it looks like the host was never hospitalized in the first place.
Greco refused all interviews discussing the truth of the show. When investigative reporter Matt Meagher approached him, he argued that he legally could not disclose any details about the show. Hmmm… we wonder why.
Greco Was Pinned to the Corner
Inside Edition’s Matt Meagher eventually managed to catch up with Joey Greco on the street, where he confronted him with the ugly truth. “Almost every episode we’ve looked at appears to be fake,” he told him. Greco flatly responded, “I realize that’s your opinion.”
Meagher then asked for the name of the hospital Greco was allegedly taken to, the police department that looked into the case, or any other record that could confirm the stabbing. “It was in the area… I can’t,” Greco answered and then fled.
The “Cast Members” Don’t Know Each Other
Inside Edition interviewed a woman who appeared on the show named Cari Wyatt, who said she “was paid $500 to appear in an episode of Cheaters” and was “asked to pretend that she was having a torrid affair with one guy. While she was engaged to another.”
Wyatt shared that she had never met either of the guys until the day they began shooting. “It’s not real at all,” she admitted, “I’ve never been engaged. They asked us to sit next to the window… be flirty and touchy, kiss a couple of times, but we never did, we just faked it.”
Wyatt Was Given Alcohol to Loosen Up
Cari Wyatt was still a minor when she appeared on the show, yet she was given booze to help “loosen her up for the romantic scenes.” The man who played her lover, Carl Burmeister, said the entire episode was fake and shot at the home of one of Cheaters’ producers.
The show also stated that the alleged cheaters were being tracked for three whole weeks. In reality, the surveillance cameras grabbed staged moments over a period of two days. Not only did the show lie about the affair, but they lied about the location and time.
Joey Greco Wasn’t the Show’s Original Host
When Cheaters debuted in 2000, the original host was a guy named Tommy Grand. But producers weren’t very satisfied with their pick. He wasn’t very charismatic, yet they kept him around for two years to try and see whether his hosting skills might improve.
Unfortunately for Grand, he lacked the smug pizazz and charisma a host of such a dramatic and cheesy TV show should have. In 2002, he was replaced by Joey Greco, who took over the role and turned the show into something way better (still fake, but at least entertaining!).
Joey Greco’s “Pseudo-Reality Series,” Ghostbreakers
In 2011, Joey Greco got involved in some sort of “mockumentary” show called Ghostbreakers. The series centered around a group of professional ghost chasers who investigate paranormal occurrences. In other words, a bunch of BABBLE.
IMDB listed eighteen episodes and described the show as a show about a “group of clumsy paranormal investigators, led by Joey Greco (Cheaters), find themselves in bizarre, inane and absurd nocturnal misadventures.”
Clark Gable’s Grandson Now Hosts Cheaters
Contrary to popular belief, Cheaters is still alive and well. The show kicked Greco to the curb in 2012 and brought in some fresh, new talent instead – 23-year-old Clark Gable III, grandson of the iconic actor of the same name.
The one thing Gable has in common with Joey (besides hosting Cheaters) is that he was stabbed at a party in LA in 2009. The difference here is that Gable was actually harmed, while Joey was just jerking his body around “in pain,” all while picturing dollar bills pouring into his bank account.
Cody Never Dated the Girl
In one episode of Cheaters, a man named Cody learns that his “girlfriend” of three years is having an affair with, of all people, his own cousin Robby. The revelation led to a dramatic and violent confrontation as the show presented the two cousins as lifelong mortal enemies.
In reality, the story was very different. Inside Edition’s reporter, Lisa Guerrero confronted Cody and asked whether he had actually dated the girl. His response wasn’t very surprising: “No… it was completely fake.”
The Fight Was Choreographed
Cody explained how the entire fight was choreographed beforehand. The producers told him to bust in the back of the house and say, “Honey, I’m home.” At that exact moment, the paid actress was asked to make out with Robby in bed.
Cody then pounced on Robby. “So, I’m on top of him hitting him, and I’m whispering to him, ‘get out of the sheets,’ I’m like boom, boom, boom, Robby get out of the sheets,” he explained. They then tumbled out into the yard, where producers ordered Robby to run up a ladder to the garage roof to escape Cody’s wrath.
They Knew the Ladder Was Going to Be There
Cody and Robby knew that the ladder was going to be outside in the yard. Robby said that the whole thing was pre-planned and that when he ran out into the yard, he headed straight for the ladder. Cody was told to go crazy on Robby once he got on the roof.
Cody went crazy, all right. He threw a garbage pail and sprayed Robby with a water hose. In the middle of it all, host Clark Gable III barged in and tried to interview the enraged cousins. Did Gable know it was fake? Of course.
Gable Doesn’t Give a Damn
Inside Edition caught up with Clark Gable III to discuss the show’s authenticity. The host told Guerrero: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn, and Cheaters is 100% real.” The reporter insisted and said that all the evidence points to the contrary.
Clark’s response to that is that the people speaking out about the show being fake are simply “saying what they’ve been told to say by somebody.” Gable argued that the show centers around real couples facing real situations. “They aren’t actors. These are 110% real people,” Gable insisted.
The Directors Coach the Actors
Another instance of apparent fraud on the show involved a young woman who discovered that her boyfriend, a drummer, was cheating on her. She confronted him during one of his rehearsals, but according to the recording studio owner, it was all bogus.
The owner said he overheard the planning of the whole episode on his studio’s security audio. “I heard one of the directors coaching the female actor, the person who was being cheated on, what to say and what to do,” he explained.
Come on, Bobby, Admit It
The show’s creator, Bobby Goldstein, shamelessly insists that all the stories on Cheaters are true. “It has come to our attention,” Guerrero told him, “[that the people on the show] have in fact been coached, and the fights have been choreographed, and it’s fake. What do you have to say to that?”
“Nothing,” Bobby replied. “You don’t care that your show is fake?” the reporter asked. “I care, but there’s nothing I can say,” he answered. Guerrero asked Bobby whether he felt like he owed the audience the truth. This is what he answered…
“I Owe Them 43 Minutes of Entertainment”
“I owe my audience 43 minutes of entertaining amusement on a subject matter that’s important to them, and that’s what I owe them,” Bobby Goldstein replied. As for the show’s participants, they don’t feel like they’ve cheated viewers either.
Cody and Robby (from the cousin fight episode) told Inside Edition that they felt like they put on a good show. “The majority of the people don’t realize that it was fake,” he boasted. Neither of the guys regretted starring on the show.
Who Is Bobby Goldstein?
Cheated was created by Bobby Goldstein, an attorney from Dallas, Texas, who, after working with several clients who had been cheated on, felt like it would be a fantastic idea to make a show of it. He has his own production company named Bobby Goldstein Productions.
Goldstein is best known for Cheaters, but he has produced other pieces like Red Victoria, a horror-comedy released in 2008. As of now, Goldstein is busy with Cheaters’ newest 2021 season featuring more confrontation, more affairs, and more fake drama. Hooray!
Who Aired the Show?
From 2006 to 2012, G4TV was responsible for airing this ridiculously entertaining show. The network began airing a stripped version of the episodes with a faster-paced editing style. The reason was that viewers complained it was a tad slow.
In January 2017, the half-hour strip format version of the show returned to cable TV; this time around, it aired on VH1 on late Friday nights/early Saturday mornings. Cheaters also earned itself some airtime on MTV2.
Some of the Episodes Are Real
In 2002, The Houston Press tracked down a few participants from the show to question them about its authenticity. One of them said: “What [the show’s crew] told me was that some of the episodes are real, but… they would do these ringer episodes to supplement the show.”
Cheaters’ producers have always insisted that the show gets so many calls from people wanting to appear on the show that having to stage scenarios was completely unnecessary! They have enough cheaters to work with as it is.
Joey Greco Disturbed the Peace
While there’s no law against presenting acted-out scenes as reality on TV, there are regulations against disturbing the peace. In 2006, the show’s former host, Joey Greco, received a written warning after butting in and helping a man confront his cheating fiancée.
A year before, he got into trouble along with the show’s director, Hunter Carson, and two other security guards. The four of them were indicted on charges of restraining a woman. As you can tell, Cheaters is controversial.
Clark Gable III No Longer Hosts the Show
Sadly, Clark Gable‘s grandson, Clark Gable III, passed away one Friday morning on February 22, 2019, at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. He was just 30 years old when he lost his life to an accidental drug overdose.
His mom posted on her social media: “It’s with an extremely heavy heart we say goodbye to my beautiful son Clark.” His sister Kayley Gable also showed her respects online by writing: “My brother was found unresponsive this morning by his fiancé and didn’t wake up. I LOVE YOU CLARKIE I’m so sorry we couldn’t save you my heart is broken and shattered RIP.”
Who’s the New Host?
Cheaters’ new host is Peter Gunz, a rapper who used to be part of a hip-hop duo with another guy named Lord Tariq. After it was revealed that he was the show’s new host, people took to the internet to mock and roast the poor fellow.
People mainly laughed about the irony of Peter Gunz acting as the show’s moral compass because the guy has cheated on countless women. “Not Peter Gunz. Not the man that impregnated his wife AND girlfriend at the same time,” one Twitter user commented.
It Takes a Cheater to Know One
It takes a cheater to catch a cheater, and if there’s anyone in the world who knows a thing or two about being unfaithful… it’s Peter Gunz. The public got to see his sketchy ways on Love and Hip Hop as he went back and forth between his long-time bae, Tara Wallace, and the other woman, Amina Buddafly.
Now, in an ironic turn of events, he’s hosting a show helping other people catch their significant others in action. He’s also the one to confront and roast the cheater. Gunz has no shame whatsoever, and it looks like he’s fully okay with his cheating history.
Gunz Is the First Black Host
The previous hosts−Tommy Habeeb, Joey Greco, and Clark James Gable−were, all white men. Nowadays, Peter Gunz is running the show. He’s the first Black guy to host the notorious hidden-camera series.
The shooting of the show’s new season (Season 21) took place in Dallas, Texas, throughout the summer. For weeks before it aired, Gunz posted little tidbits and premiere shots all over his social media accounts, getting his fans all pumped up!
Cheaters has recently released a podcast welcoming anyone who wants to rant to sign up as the show’s special guest. “Whether you think you’re being cheated on, or you are the cheater, we want to hear from you, and the more outrageous the story, the better,” they posted on FB.
During the podcast, the crew ensures that their team of cheater investigators will help you figure out whether your partner is cheating on you. If you are the cheater, don’t feel left out. You can leave your cheating tale on their website, and they’ll feature it in their “Oh No You Didn’t” section of the podcast.
Their Detective Agency Is Legit… We Think
Stalking and taping people from afar sounds creepy enough, but airing it on cable television for the world to see? That’s a bit too much, isn’t it? This show completely normalizes the surveillance society we’re living in.
The investigations on the show are done by the “Cheaters Detective Agency” – a so-called “real” agency that advertises itself as the ultimate spying business. If you want their service, all you got to do is fill out a one-page application form, and you’re set to go.
As if a Cheaters show and a Cheaters podcast wasn’t enough, the franchise also has a “Cheaters Store” – an online boutique offering people exceptional spying equipment. For example, they sell a system that lets you retrieve deleted texts from phones.
More devices include recording machines, hidden cameras, and more. But the creepiest product of them all has got to be a product that allows you to install hidden cameras in a person’s electrical outlets.
What About the Law?
Surely, there must be some regulations against spying and stalking. But Cheaters couldn’t care less. Nowhere on the site or on the show itself do the producers warn about the many laws preventing data theft or surveillance.
Instead, their site pushes folks to “fight infidelity” by “Post[ing] a Known Cheater Now!” They even have a “Cheaters Records” section, where they show photos and names of accused “cheaters.” Anyone can be labeled a cheater on their site. There is absolutely no fact-checking.
So, How Much of the Show Is Scripted?
How much of Cheaters is really scripted? We know that the main cast members make around $400 per episode. To get that amount of money, the participants need to memorize lines and act all surprised when they discover the truth.
Other actors, less significant ones, receive around $50 to just walk around and make the situation seem normal and spontaneous. We know that reality shows are often far from real, but this show definitely takes the cake in terms of phoniness.
References in Pop Culture
Cheaters had been mocked and parodied over the years. People can’t help it, and why should they? This show takes its audience to be absolute dummies if they think anyone is buying into their lame, hired actors and scripted arguments.
Films and shows like Janky Promoters, Sex Drive, Just Go With It, and The Jay Leno Show have all referenced this ridiculous show. Cheaters is so evidently fake that they’re practically begging to be made fun of.
Migos Referenced Them
In his song, Need It, the rapper Migos sings during the chorus: “Then I leave her, I cannot get caught up, I cannot be on Cheaters.” Referencing some stuff he’s done in the past, it seems like the rapper wants to avoid appearing on the show.
Other rappers calling out the show are Lil Baby & Lil Durk, who feature Travis Scott on one of their songs. Scott raps: “Sorry, gotta f–k on the low, I can’t make Cheaters.” Looks like everyone wants to cheat, but everyone’s terrified of being caught.
The Resurrection of Cheaters
How has Cheaters lasted for so many years? Well, people love a good drama, regardless of whether it’s real or not. Moreover, the resurrection of this show in 2021 has been partially driven through the help of outside funds.
An advertisement on the Cheaters website offered incentives to donors. Incredibly, they were able to squeeze out thousands of dollars from people. In return, they let them drive around in the Cheaters van with a Cheaters shirt for one whole episode.
All Silliness Aside…
Cheating is a serious topic. And believe it or not, there are a few things to learn about adultery from this scandalous show. Here are some valuable cheating lessons:
Number one – the most lethal suspects are people you know.
More often than not, the mistress in question is none other than the suspecting woman’s best friend! Other times, the mistress is the man’s co-worker, a friend of a family member, a friend of a friend, or even the girlfriend of a close friend.
Men Will Cheat With Anyone
Another thing we’ve learned from the show is that men tend to cheat with anyone, regardless of how beautiful or smart their girlfriend is. It’s incredible how frequently the women on the show point out that they’re prettier than the ladies their men are cheating on them with.
It’s as if they think looking good is the ultimate antidote for not getting cheated on. But here’s a warning: If you believe you’re immune to the cheating phenomenon, think again. For many men, the compulsion to cheat and flirt has little to do with a woman’s level of attractiveness.
Woman Are More Likely to Forgive the Cheater
Upon confronting their cheating partners, many women ask the question, “Do you love her?” If the answer is no, then most women take the cheater back. By comparison, when the woman is cheating, the man never asks whether she loves her new boy toy.
In most cases, the men just confront their girlfriend and usually beat up her companion. They normally wipe the girl out of their lives and move on. Very seldom does the betrayed man offer his lover a chance to make their relationship work again.
Men Don’t Mind Being the Guy on the Side
Most of the men on Cheaters are really uninterested in actual relationships with the women they’re cheating with. The men know that the girls are betraying some poor guy, but it feels like they truly couldn’t care less about the wronged fellow.
Most guys on the show enjoy the sneaky, no-strings-attached sex. The men are more than happy to hand the girl back to her angry and hurt partner when caught in action. Most men don’t seem to want anything to do with the cheating woman other than sex.
Reasons for Cheating
On episodes of the show, both men and women use the sad excuse that their significant other is “always working” or “never home” as their reason for stepping out on the relationship. However, there’s another reason to cheat.
Women are more likely to say that because they’re doing better than their man; for example, if they have a better job than him, then cheating on him with her co-worker is somewhat justifiable. So, if your lady is doing better than you are, watch out. (I’m just kidding…or am I?)
Motivation Impacts the Length of the Affair
Research has proven that one’s motivation for cheating usually dictates the length of the affair. When people cheat due to anger or lack of love, their affairs are longer. When people cheat due to specific situations or circumstances, the affair is shorter.
One study also found that women normally have longer affairs on average than men. It seems like women tend to develop feelings towards their affair partner instead of many men who simply need that sexual outlet.
Do Cheaters Want to Get Caught?
We normally think of cheating as a secretive enterprise. But some cheaters aren’t too careful. Especially the ones who appeared on the show. They’re out and about with their forbidden lover as if everything was completely A-OK.
This might be intentional. Studies have shown that those cheating due to lack of intimacy with their initial partner normally go on more public dates with the person they’re cheating with. Kissing in public and holding hands is also more common among those who cheat due to lack of love.
How Many Confess?
The motivation behind cheating also impacts how people handle it. For instance, the same study has revealed that many cheaters confess their affairs. In fact, results showed a 50/50 split between those who came clean and those who kept quiet.
Women were more likely to admit it than men. And overall, those who disclosed their deeds were more likely to have cheated out of anger and not due to sexual desire. Interestingly, those who admitted to cheating were also more likely to develop feelings towards their affair partner.
What Happens With the Affair Partner?
What happens in the aftermath? For the most part, affairs don’t result in real relationships. The study showed that only one out of ten affairs led to a committed relationship between cheater and affair partner.
Some people remain friends with their affair partners, others see them occasionally, and some shut down the relationship for good and cut off all contact with them. Those who cheat due to situational reasons are less likely to develop a committed relationship with them.
Are We Monogamous Creatures?
Monogamy as a cultural norm is a relatively new idea. Sexual exclusivity wasn’t always assumed, and if someone wanted to have sex outside their primary relationship, it wasn’t that big of a deal (that someone was normally the man).
Today, if someone brings up the topic of polyamory (several partners at once), people tend to think that person has psychological issues. But that’s truly not the case. Many people who strive for a non-monogamous relationship are just as mentally stable as the rest of the population.
They Have Better Emotional Skills
Several studies pointed out that people open to non-monogamous relationships better manage emotions like insecurity or jealousy. Some of them have way better communication skills and have happy, long-lasting relationships.
When people pair up, especially heterosexual couples, they often assume monogamy. This might pose a challenge later on when one of the partners wants to “change the contract.” Gay couples tend to navigate this issue a lot better.
Why Is Betrayal So Painful?
If you thought that you and your partner had a monogamous agreement, then betrayal can be so intensely painful that some would say it’s even traumatic. Many couples can get over the fact that their significant other had sex with someone else, but not many can overcome the fact that their partner lied about it.
When the betrayer is discovered, they normally don’t reveal the extent of the whole affair for fear of really traumatizing their initial partner. This can make it even worse, as the betrayed keeps finding out more and more hurtful details over time.
Can One Recover?
The answer is yes, but it’s not easy. First, one needs to want to recover. One needs to realize that to move on, and they will have to let go of the pain and anger. There must be some form of acceptance before one can begin their work on getting better.
Once the anger is out of the way, the person can begin to use their mental energy to improve the relationship or, in cases of breakups, improve themselves. In cases of couples who stay together, both the betrayer and the betrayed must collaborate and work through the feelings together.