Production of MTV’s popular series Catfish: The TV Show was halted earlier this week following sexual misconduct allegations against the show’s main host and creator, Nev Schulman. The allegations were made by a former guest on the show.
Ayissha Morgan recently revealed through two YouTube videos that she experienced sexual harassment while filming a TV show three years ago. Though she didn’t explicitly call out Catfish or Schulman, it’s pretty clear that she’s referring to the MTV show given her appearance in 2015.
Here’s what you need to know about Ayissha Morgan and her allegations against Nev Schulman.
1Ayissha Morgan claims Nev Schulman repeatedly sexually harassed her for several days while filming an episode of Catfish.
On May 12, Ayissha Morgan uploaded a video to her YouTube channel titled “The TRUTH about the show.” In the 13-minute video, she describes her experience being sexually harassed by the host of a TV show she appeared on three years ago.
Morgan chooses not to reveal the name of the show or the host. She uses the pseudonym “Jack” for the person she claims repeatedly harassed her and refers to his co-host as “John.” It’s assumed Nev Schulman and Max Joseph are “Jack” and “John” respectively as Morgan appeared on their show Catfish in 2015.
Morgan says her interactions with Schulman became awkward shortly after she met him. He began by flirting and complimenting her looks. It didn’t bother her initially because she thought he was just being “thirsty,” but then it became excessive.
“On every break from filming, every time they said cut, you’re [Jack] like, ‘Oh when can I take you on a date?’ Mind you, this is like 20 minutes into us meeting for the very first time… I have this guy over here making me three times as uncomfortable as I already am.”
Morgan, who is lesbian, says the host then began questioning her sexuality and even suggested they go on a date. It got to the point that Joseph had to intervene and told Schulman to “chill” and stop with the antics.
The harassment escalated when the Catfish crew flew to Houston. She claims Schulman again inquired about her sexual orientation, asked if she’d ever had a sexual experience with a man and, if not, that he should be her first.
“[Shulman would say]: ‘I don’t think you’re a lesbian…I just don’t think you’ve met the right guy yet. Do you think I’m attractive? Have you ever had sex with a guy…I think you should try it. I have a big dick, I would tear your ass up.’”
“He was just like pushing and pushing,” she added. “You’re just not gonna stop,” she recalled thinking at the time.
When the crew landed in Houston, Morgan agreed to “hang out” with Schulman thinking it would be a group outing at the bar in the hotel. However, Schulman allegedly manipulated the situation and ended up alone with Morgan in her hotel room. He asked her to cuddle. She said no and then asked him to leave.
She claims later that night Schulman repeatedly called her hotel room and left suggestive comments/emojis on her social media.
The following day, Morgan claims she overheard members of the Catfish crew discussing Schulman’s behavior and says they weren’t surprised when she described her uncomfortable encounters with him.
“The whole time I was filming [the crew] was talking shit about ‘Jack’ saying ‘nobody likes him, he’s an asshole.’ So I’m starting to think I’m not tripping. This guy is a pure f***ing asshole. He treats women like they’re f***ing toys…I tell them he’s been flirting with me and they’re like ‘yeah, we’re not surprised.’”
Morgan had another uncomfortable encounter with Schulman when she did not have her room key and went to Schulman’s room thinking Joseph would also be present. However, Joseph left, again leaving Morgan alone with the host.
She claims Schulman passed her a note that read: “Do you find me attractive?” She played it off with a joke and suggested she be the female co-host of Catfish. He responded by asking her, “What are you willing to do for it?”
She also claims that he set next to her on the bed, grabbed her arm, and suggested they do sexual acts. She pulled her arm away and sat outside his hotel door until she was able to get her own room key from a producer.
2Ayissha also suggests that a female production assistant sexually assaulted her while she was in an extremely intoxicated state.
“Jack”/Nev Schulman was not the only person who Ayissha Morgan makes allegations against. She also suggests that a female production assistant sexually assaulted her while she was drunk. Morgan uploaded a second video on May 14 to describe this encounter.
Morgan refers to the PA as “Carol.” Carol was someone Morgan had become cordial with over the course of filming. She claims Carol came to her hotel room with two large bottles of beer. The two talked for hours, including about Carol’s own relationship issues. But soon into their interaction, Morgan became intensely affected by the alcohol.
“The way this beer hit me was so crazy… Maybe it was just strong beer… It hit me like something I’ve never experienced before.”
Morgan was reluctant to say that Carol drugged her because “that’s a serious allegation” that she can’t say for sure.
However, Morgan becomes most emotional while recalling her experience with Carol, to the point that she couldn’t share much detail fearing she would break down.
She says the two went back to Carol’s room because she said it had two beds. Morgan was surprised to find out there was only one. While in the PA’s room, she describes the alcohol hitting her like a “ton of rocks” and says she was “in and out of consciousness.” She continues:
“I woke up and she was on top of me.”
Getting emotional and crying, Morgan chooses not to go into further detail, but the intimation is that some sort of sexual interaction occurred while she was in a very inebriated state.
Morgan says she was “the laughing stock” amongst the crew the next morning due to whatever happened between her and Carol.
“People were like ‘Oh, Carol got some ass. She always gets lucky when we do things like this. Go Carol.’
“It’s crazy how I’m in your guys’ care and no one decided to come talk to me.”
She also says that, while alone in his room, Schulman asked Morgan to do what she allegedly did with Carol with him. She declined and walked out of his room.
3MTV has abruptly halted production of Catfish while the sexually misconduct allegations are being investigated.
Amid Ayissha Morgan’s allegations, MTV temporarily halted production of Catfish on May 17. They have launched an investigation into the matter. The network’s statement reads:
“We’re working with Critical Content, our third-party production company, to conduct a thorough investigation and we’ve put a pause on shooting until the investigation is completed.”
Catfish: The TV Show premiered in 2012 and wrapped its seventh season in March.
4Schulman denies the allegations, while a former Catfish staffer says the host often “flirted” with guests, but would never sexually harass someone.
Nev Schulman denies the sexual misconduct allegations and states that Catfish colleagues could support his version of events.
Schulman’s May 17 statement reads:
“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.”
A former Catfish crew member told Page Six that Schulman would flirt with guests on the show before he was married, but that Ayissha Morgan’s accusations of sexual misconduct just “isn’t his style.”
“I have a lot of doubts, probably because she over the years has remembered a lot of the basics wrong. A lot of that just couldn’t have happened the way that she said it.”
Schulman previously faced controversy in 2014 when it was publicly revealed that he punched a woman while attending Sarah Lawrence College in 2006. He was ultimately expelled from the school due to the incident.
Schulman described the incident in his 2014 memoir:
“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.
“The next thing I knew, I’d been arrested. The case was dismissed almost immediately, but Sarah Lawrence took the opportunity to toss me out once and for all.”
The woman in question, however, disputes this account, claiming that she merely tapped Schulman on the shoulder and he hit her “out of nowhere.”
5Ayissha publicly shared her experience in hopes that no other woman is a victim of sexual misconduct while filming Catfish.
The reason Ayissha Morgan is coming forward now—three years later—is because she has overcome the depression caused by the experience and doesn’t want another woman who appears on the show to find herself in a similar situation.
“My sole purpose for this video is to bring awareness,” she says.
“With the show still being on the air and so many girls still doing the show, I would feel like a jackass if something happened and I didn’t say anything. I think about it every day, if something has happened in the past three years…I don’t want to think like that. I want to hope that I was the only person that this experience happened to.”
She also assures viewers that she didn’t come forward as a scheme to receive money from MTV.
“I would never put a situation like this out there for money. This is a serious situation and I would never lie about anything that has to do with this topic…you just don’t lie about things like that.”
Though Morgan never explicitly states Catfish in her videos, she did mention the show in a January Facebook post that briefly discusses her depression and being sexually abused. She wrote in part:
“When y’all look at my ‘Catfish’ episode, y’all see the episode itself, when I look at it, I see the breakdown I had in my hotel an hour before I had to film, I locked myself in my room, the producers had to intervene. The sexual abuse I encountered during filming broke me down, & sent me into depression.”
At the time of the Facebook post, it was unclear if the sexual abuse she mentioned was related to her filming experience with Catfish.
6Ayissha appeared on a season 4 episode of Catfish after being cyberstalked by a former online admirer.
The allegations Ayissha Morgan makes in her YouTube videos occurred while she filmed an episode of Catfish in 2015. She appeared in the Season 4 Episode 16 show entitled “Sydney and Ayissha.”
Morgan contacted the show to confront a woman she believed was named Sydney. She and “Sydney” had been in an online relationship for 10 years.
The two had never video chatted because Morgan didn’t want to and “Sydney” made excuses for not being able to meet in person even though they both lived in California.
Morgan and “Sydney” had a falling out and Morgan then began to suspect her online admirer was somehow stalking her when she started receiving creepy text messages.
During filming, it was revealed that “Sydney” was really named Whitney and she had been keeping tabs of Morgan by using 8-10 fake social media profiles, of which none used Whitney’s real photo or name.
Whitney apologized for putting Morgan through such an emotional rollercoaster for several years and the two were able to have a heart-to-heart. However, they broke all contact after filming Catfish.
7Ayissha is now “living her best life” and married her wife, Ashley Morgan, in July 2017.
Ayissha Morgan has since moved on from her catfish and has found true love. She married her wife, Ashley Morgan, in July 2017.
Ashley owns Bad Ash Training, a business that specializes in personal training and nutrition. She often hosts events such as 5K runs and boot camp training. She studied nutrition at Cal Poly Pomona.
She also frequently writes motivational posts on her Facebook page and seems to have a genuinely kind heart. Ayissha recently shared in a post that, with a broken hand, Ashley pushed a stranger’s car to the gas station that had broken down on the road. Several men rode by without stopping to help.
As for Ayissha, she says she’s currently living her best life and is focused on growing her lash business. She wrote on Facebook in January:
“Today, I’m so blessed. In a healthy marriage, skin glowing, lash business booming, me and my wife’s gym is booming. My wife is happy, she’s motivated, I’m motivated. ALL GLORY TO GOD.”