Women Sue Television Franchisee for Portraying Them as Escorts

Three women who appeared on the Israeli version of "Cash Cab" last week are planning to sue the program's franchisee for damages, claiming the reality quiz show portrayed them as prostitutes.

On Saturday night's episode, driver/host Ido Rosenblum picked up Adva Zimro and two women identified only as Mamit and Dalia. All three work at a hotel in Eilat, but declined to reveal their occupations on the show. Only after filming did they realize they had been portrayed as call girls.

This week, Zimro said she found their episode on the web portal of the Orange mobile phone company under the title, "Ido fills the cab with female escorts."

The women asked Keshet, the Channel 2 franchisee that broadcasts the show, to change the description on the Orange site. Though the request was accepted, they said it had arrived too late.

'No one can turnback the clock'

"Everyone who sees me now thinks I'm a prostitute," Zimro told Haaretz. "We were fired from our jobs, our friends don't believe us and now we have to convince our own families as well. Keshet apologized and suggested that Ido apologize on the program, but no one can turn back the clock. They trampled our dignity for the sake of ratings. We're regular girls who come from normal, traditional families, and the fact that we've been portrayed this way has been very difficult."

Keshet released the following response: "As soon as we realized what had happened, we moved quickly to change the item as presented on the mobile phone portal. Producers contacted Adva Zimro in the afternoon and told her that during that evening's program, Ido Rosenblum would issue a clarification over the incident. Adva said that she and her friends accepted the clarification, and we hope that, with that, the issue can come to a close."