In June, MTV closed an internal investigation after a woman who previously appeared on the show accused Schulman of making inappropriate and sexual comments toward her while filming. MTV said the claims were found to be “not credible and without merit.”
“I was so stressed and I was so out of control and desperately trying to get it into my control that I actually got shingles,” he said. “Most people get it around their chest or ribs. I got it on my head.”
While he said getting shingles (a viral infection that causes a painful rash) was certainly not ideal, it taught him the importance of remaining calm under pressure.
“It’s been a really meaningful, eye-opening, emotional and physical experience,” he said.
In May, Schulman denied the woman’s claims of sexual misconduct.
“The behavior described in this video did not happen and I’m fortunate that there are a number of former colleagues who were present during this time period who are willing to speak up with the truth,” Schulman said in a statement to PEOPLE. “I have always been transparent about my life and would always take responsibility for my actions — but these claims are false.”
While Schulman, 33, did not name his accuser, fans believed he was referring to a YouTube video posted by a woman named Ayissha Morgan, who appeared on season 4 of Catfish in 2015.
On the podcast, Schulman said he was the one to alert MTV of the allegations.
“Immediately I was like, ‘Uh-oh, this could be a problem,’ ” he recalled. “This girl is saying some really nasty stuff and it’s probably going to come out and we are going to have to deal with it.”
During the length of the investigation, Schulman was suspended from the show and production was put on hold.
“In the moment I was very frustrated and I was confused,” he said. “[I thought] ‘Why aren’t they communicating with me? Why are they suspending the show when there’s never been a complaint like this before?’ “
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After the investigation was complete and Schulman was cleared, he understood why things were handled the way they were.
“I was waiting, counting the seconds for them to say ‘Hey it’s all good, Nev’s not a creep,’ ” he said. “I wanted them to do it sooner, but what I wasn’t thinking was the bigger picture and moving forward with the show.”
He added: “Now, looking back, they did a great job.”
In a series of YouTube videos posted on May 12, Morgan alleged on that the show’s “main person” made inappropriate comments to her.
“On every break from filming, every time they said cut, they’re like, ‘Oh, well when can I take you on a date?’ Mind you, this was 20 minutes in from us meeting for the first time,” she said in the video. “I was in such an uncomfortable place and a freaking hard time in my life as well. I’m at my most vulnerable.”
Morgan could not be reached for further comment.
Schulman serves as the host and executive producer for the popular MTV show, which investigates online relationships and exposes people who impersonate others on the internet — and is based on his 2010 documentary.
Catfish airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on MTV.