Aaaahhh… never a dull moment in Vicki Gunvalson land, eh?!
Vicki has been trying to do the whole Bravo Home Shopping Network thing by expanding her empire to include one of her favorite things – no, not full lovetanks or deadbeat losers, but BOOZE! Unfortunately all is not working out. The short-lived 'Vicki's Vodka', which she promoted on this season's Real Housewives of Orange County, has been plagued by scandal and lawsuits.
Vicki's business partner, a professional poker player named Robert Williamson III, has sued her not once but twice(!) over allegations that she attempted to defraud him and was not serious about making the brand a success. All the problems originate with Brooks Ayers, it seems, who is also being sued by Robert.
Well Vicki has decided to simply pull the plug on Vicki's Vodka! "This lawsuit arises from the business decision of Ms. Gunvalson and her business partner, Michael Nicholson, an expert in blending and selling distilled spirits, to terminate the Vicki’s Vodka brand,” Vicki's attorney Paul W. Reidl explained Radar Online. Robert is also suing Michael.
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Citing the RHOC buzzword "bullying", Vicki accuses Robert of using the lawsuits to intimidate her. “Their decision resulted from their ongoing dissatisfaction with the business practices and bullying conduct of their other business partner, who is a professional gambler in Las Vegas and the plaintiff in the case. He wants to continue the project; they do not.” Interestingly Vicki first became introduced to Robert through Brooks. Brooks is the person who originally instrumented their working together.
Vicki claims she attempted to resolve their issues with a Settlement Agreement signed in July, but Robert then filed a new lawsuit which Vicki believes is a publicity stunt. Ya' think?!
“This should have been the kind of routine dissolution of a small business that regularly occurs when co-owners disagree," Vicki's attorney adds. "Regrettably, the gambler has continued his bullying conduct by filing a lawsuit that has no merit at all. His claims are so lacking in factual and legal support that one can only assume the lawsuit was brought for its publicity value.”
And since Robert does not own the rights to Vicki's Vodka's name or recipes, according to Vicki the project is as good as dead! “Ms. Gunvalson and Mr. Nicholson detailed their complaints about the gambler’s conduct in a lengthy letter in which they made an offer to buy out his interest in the business. That was rejected without a counteroffer."
"Since he cannot force them to continue working on the project, and as a professional gambler he does not have the industry expertise or fan base to make and market the project successfully, Vicki’s Vodka is dead," her attorney concludes. "The gambler does not own the recipe and does not have a license to make, distribute or sell the product. No more vodka will be produced."
Ouch! Courthouse News goes into more details about the lawsuit Robert filed and among some of his interesting accusations he claimed Vicki "encouraged him to buy out Brooks" and that he initially invested $300,000 to Vicki's $25,000 to start the company.
He cites that his primary reason in filing this lawsuit is that Vicki misrepresented herself as the "true" owner of the company.
"It is undisputed that Vicki knew the true ownership of VV and has intentionally misstated and represented the RW III is not the majority owner of VV; she has shown her true intent to not honor the settlement agreement and to harm the business of VV and specifically to damage RW III and for him to lose his investment in VV," his lawsuit states.
Interesting, interesting! Vicki's lawyer attests that Vicki will tell "her side of the story" in court!
Well! I guess we no longer have the 'Bloody Piggy' to look forward to. Somewhere Slade Smiley is gloating and laughing – too bad he no longer has that radio show to broadcast his Vicki hating through. Well, there's always twitter!
[Photo Credit: Judy Eddy/WENN.com]
TELL US – SURPRISED VICKI'S VODKA IS DEAD?