Lisa de Moraes TV Column: VH1 Distances Itself From Reality Show Contestant

"Survivor" winner Richard Hatch was very talkative Tuesday, but hours later he found himself back in jail.
"Survivor" winner Richard Hatch was very talkative Tuesday, but hours later he found himself back in jail. (By Steven Senne -- Associated Press)
By Lisa de Moraes
Thursday, August 20, 2009

VH1 has gone all Ladies of River City on us, yanking "Megan Wants a Millionaire" off its schedule and all mentions of the reality series off its Web site -- this in the wake of news that police want to question one of the show's contestants about the murder of a former swimsuit model.

Police said Wednesday they are seeking Ryan Jenkins, 32, to ask what he may know about the death of Jasmine Fiore, 28. She had what the Associated Press is calling a "stormy relationship" with Jenkins, who may be hightailing it to his native Canada, the cops say.

On Saturday night, Jenkins reported Fiore missing to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Jenkins was one of the "millionaires" on the VH1 reality series that the Viacom cable network wants to make perfectly clear was not -- repeat not -- a show it actually created, which means VH1 grants itself Skankitude Immunity.

Here, we'll let them say it in their own words:

Ryan Jenkins was a contestant on "Megan Wants a Millionaire" -- an outside production, produced and owned by 51 Minds, that is licensed to VH1.

But wait -- it gets better:

This show completed production at the end of March. Given the unfortunate circumstances, VH1 has postponed any future airings. This is a tragic situation and our thoughts go out to the victim's family.

Fiore married Jenkins in Las Vegas in March, but had the marriage annulled weeks later, the AP reported.

Fiore's nude body was found stuffed in a suitcase in a trash bin in Orange County on Saturday. Officials say she may have been strangled; she was last seen alive with Jenkins at a poker game in San Diego.

Lt. Gary Worral told the AP that Jenkins was still missing: "At this point, he's merely a person of interest, simply because of the suspiciousness of his disappearance. We can't find him.

"We find it suspicious that with all the media coverage that he has not made himself available to us," he said.

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