Former X Factor contestant Katie Waissel plans to sue Simon Cowell
She claims the show failed in its duty of care to contestants.
Former X Factor contestant Katie Waissel plans to sue Simon Cowell's company over her treatment on the hit ITV talent show.
The 36-year-old, who appeared on the show in 2010 and reached the quarter-finals, told the Sunday Times that she had retrained in law so that she could take legal action against Syco Entertainment.
She is planning on bringing a civil case of personal injury under negligence against the company, of which Cowell is the director.
According to the Sunday Times, Waissel and her legal team have sent a letter of claim to Syco Entertainment.
Simco, a subsidiary of Syco, and Fremantle TV produced the X Factor.
Waissel told the newspaper that she became a hate figure on the show and received acid attack and death threats.
She claims she wasn't allowed to leave the house she lived in during the live shows, barely slept or ate, and has been through therapy and counselling for post-traumatic stress disorder.
She claims Syco Entertainment failed in its obligation to provide a duty of care to her and other contestants.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, she said she enrolled at BPP University in London last year and graduated with a postgraduate law degree.
This means she can now work as a paralegal or undertake further training to become a lawyer.
Waissel told the publication: "There are so many of us who have been so trapped and it's not fair, there was a huge imbalance in power.
"I just wanted to be able to understand [the contracts] and to protect people from being manipulated in the future."
She added that she was paid a token sum of £1 to appear on the live Saturday night shows, with contestants not legally classed as employees.
There may be a stumbling block for her in her legal claim though, because of the period of time since the events on the show. The statute of limitations for personal injury suits stands at three years. So, Waissel and her team will need to persuade a judge to waive this.
JOE has approached Fremantle TV for comment about Waissel's allegations.
Last August, a source told the Mirror that they and five other former X Factor contestants were approaching a law firm to sue SyCo for at least £1 million ($1.2 million).
The source told the paper: "Your mental well-being was of no one's interest. We were just pawns in their game. When I entered the show I was confident, ambitious and charismatic."
"Now I am extremely untrusting, emotional, nervous and full of anxiety."
A spokesperson for the X Factor said at the time: "Welfare of those taking part is our No1 priority and we have robust measures and welfare teams in place to ensure support is always available.
"We are unaware of any legal claims being filed against The X Factor and despite not being on air for several years, we remain open to discuss concerns with anyone who chooses to do so."