Viaplay cancels “Paradise Hotel” as winner convicted of rape

Photo: Viaplay logo on sign. Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB
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23-year-old Markus Nicolai Grøndberg has been sentenced to a four-year and five-month prison sentence for raping an underage girl. The latest season of “Paradise Hotel”, which he won, has now been pulled from streaming platforms.

Obtained sex by violence/threatening behaviour, unanimous decision

The latest season of the Norwegian hit reality series “Paradise Hotel” has been pulled from streaming services after the conviction of the winner, Markus Nicolai Grøndbeg, for the rape of an underage girl.

Grøndberg denied any wrongdoing but was unanimously convicted, in Bodø District Court, of “having obtained sexual intercourse by violence or threatening behavior” towards a 14-year-old. He was also ordered to pay NOK 170.000 in damages to the victim.

Speaking to the newspaper VG, his lawyer stated his client’s belief of innocence claiming “…has not had any form of sexual intercourse with the offended.”

New season removed, Viaplay knew of case

Grøndberg participated in the latest season of “Paradise Hotel” whilst an investigation into the rape was occurring. He admitted to lying to the production company, Nent, during his application to be on the show.

Nent then chose to broadcast the series on television and it was only when Grødnberg was convicted of the rape that Viaplay chose to remove the show from its streaming services.

Kenneth Kristensen, program director for non-scripted in Viaplay owner Nent, told VG that “we have always said that it has been up to the court to decide the case and that we have therefore not had any comments on the legal process. As the case concerns matters from before the person in question was a participant in one of our reality productions, we also do not now have any comments on the verdict itself other than that we are deeply shaken by what has emerged in court.”

Yet the victim’s lawyer, Finn Ove Smith, told NTB that his client has suffered further damage by the “celebrity status” of the perpetrator and the publicity around the popular show.

Tor Haug, Grøndberg’s lawyer, however, doesn’t see why the show should have been removed. Talking to NTB he said that “in Norway, we have a principle that one is innocent until there is a final verdict…”

Haug said his client has not decided whether he will take further action against Nent and Viaplay for removing the series.

Source : © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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