Married at First Sight couple Michael Watson and Meka Jones never managed to recover from their rocky start and get to the point where they consummated their marriage, according to Michael.
Michael revealed the Married at First Sight couple never consummated their marriage before they opted to split in court documents exclusively obtained by Reality TV World.
“The parties never consummated their marriage,” Michael’s attorney wrote in a court filing.
As Reality TV World previously exclusively reported, Michael filed for annulment from Meka last month claiming he was defrauded into marriage by Married at First Sight’s experts and producers.
According to Michael’s court complaint — which requests an “annulment, or, in the alternative, limited divorce” — he believed Married at First Sight’s experts intended to match him with someone who would be “compatible with him in order to establish a committed and lasting marriage.”
However, the complaint states Michael now believes he was defrauded by Married at First Sight and the “actual goal” was to put him into a marriage that would create “drama and excitement” for television.
“Given everything that has transpired between then and now, [Michael] now believes he was defrauded into this process and the legal marriage that ensued, as it appears that the actual goal of the ‘experiment’ was not to form lasting, committed unions but rather to create drama and excitement for television ratings,” Michael’s attorney wrote in the filing.
If had he been aware of the alleged “actual goal,” Michael would not have agreed to participate in Married at First Sight and marry Meka, the filing claims.
While Married at First Sight’s tenth season is only airing on Lifetime now, it was filmed in the Washington, D.C. area late last year.
Michael and Meka got married on August 5, according to his court filing, and “officially separated” on October 1.
The timing suggests Michael and Meka decided to split on “Decision Day,” the final day of the season’s eight-week filming period in which each Married at First Sight participant has to decide if they want to remain married to their new spouse or get a divorce.
However, it is also possible Michael and Meka professed plans to remain together when they filmed “Decision Day” but then opted to split shortly after the cameras left.
In addition to alleging he was defrauded by the show, Michael’s complaint also claims he learned Meka’s legal name was actually Kwaneja Jones at the time of their marriage and throughout the Married at First Sight season’s production.
Meka had allegedly filed to legally change her name to Meka Jones in May 2019, but the court order finalizing her name change wasn’t issued until January 17, 2020.
Michael’s complaint was filed on January 21 — less than three weeks after fellow Married at First Sight Season 10 co-star Brandon Reid similarly filed for annulment from his wife Taylor Dunklin.
As Reality TV World also exclusively reported last month, Brandon’s filing alleges Taylor committed adultery during their marriage and she only participated in Married at First Sight for publicity and exposure.
Many Married at First Sight couples have filed for divorce throughout the show’s previous seasons, however, prior to Brandon (and now Michael), no MAFS participant is believed to have attempted to end their marriage via annulment instead of divorce as the show reportedly prohibits annulment.
As previously reported, whether the annulment requests will be successful is uncertain given annulments have very specific requirements.
Although Married at First Sight has billed Washington, D.C. as Season 10’s location, some of the cast members actually live outside the District of Columbia in nearby Maryland, including Meka and Taylor.
As such, Michael and Brandon each made their filings in Maryland.
According to the DivorceNet website, there are only six valid grounds for marriage annulment in the state of Maryland.
Four of the six valid grounds are bigamy, mental incapacitation, spouses who have a blood relationship closer than first cousins, or spouses who were underage and married without parental consent.
The remaining two grounds require that one spouse coerced the other spouse into getting married, or that one spouse defrauded the other to convince them to get married.
In addition, if a spouse wants the marriage annulled because they were coerced into the marriage, Maryland requires that the coercion existed at the time of the actual ceremony and the spouse was in fear of great bodily harm, according to DivorceNet.
Additional requirements also reportedly exist for spouses seeking an annulment on the grounds of fraud such as Michael and Brandon are seeking.
“If a spouse wants the marriage to be annulled for fraud, the fraud has to be related to the essential elements of the marriage,” according to DivorceNet.
“It is not enough that one spouse lied about such as his or her financial situation, habits, temper or personality. For fraud to be a basis to annul a marriage, it must be something that affects the health or well-being of the parties or the offspring of the marriage.”
“Hiding a previous marriage and divorce is not enough to annul a marriage, but hiding prior insanity would be sufficient to annul a marriage. A wife hiding that she is pregnant by another man at the time of marriage would also be sufficient for an annulment.”
Recognizing his annulment request may not be granted, Michael’s filing ends by requesting the court “annul… or, in the alternative” grant a limited divorce to Michael. Brandon’s filing also does similarly.
In addition to Michael and Meka and Brandon and Taylor, Married at First Sight’s tenth season also stars Katie Conrad and Derek Sherman, Jessica Studer and Austin Hurd, and Mindy Shiben and Zach Justice.
Married at First Sight airs Wednesdays at 8PM ET/PT on Lifetime.