The Real World: Key West faces lawsuit

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Wealthy tour mogul Ed Swift is seeking a legal injunction against production of The Real World: Key West. In preparation for the arrival of this season's seven strangers, the 6,000-square-foot house next to Swift's property has been covered with exterior lights that he claims are "brighter than the Key West High School football field during a nighttime game," and a fleet of cars and trailers is constantly parked in the immediate area.

Swift calls the vehicular congestion an "unavoidable eyesore," and says that the lights and the several cameras that appear to be pointed at Swift's home prevent his family from using "entire sections of their home for fear of ending up on national television." In addition, Swift's lawsuit suggests that The Real World house is not zoned for commercial filming, but a Monroe County, Florida, official says that a permit is not needed for filming on private property.

Although it's likely that a hearing will be held in late September, MTV and its parent company, Viacom, have no plans to halt production of The Real World. A spokesperson would say only that the show "looks forward to a successful season in Monroe County and to showcasing the area to the world."

Swift's home and The Real World house are actually located in the exclusive community of Key Haven, just outside of the Key West city limits. Swift owns a company that runs Key West's Conch Train and several sailing tours, along with similar tour outfits around the country. Though many of Key West's longtime residents have expressed displeasure at the arrival of The Real World, they may not necessarily side with Swift in his case. The Key West Citizen reports that locals "have long complained about commercialization of the historic district, including what they consider an intrusion that Swift and his partners brought to Old Town with their trains and trolleys."

The Key West installment of The Real World will be the 17th season of the once-groundbreaking reality show, which is currently airing its Austin, Texas, chapter on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on MTV.

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