Ai ya ya. A Canadian firm has now filed a lawsuit against severalReal Housewives of New Jersey cast members, accusing them of stealing the concept used for their bottled-water product, BLACKWATER, in addition to misappropriation of the trademark and breach of contract.
The suit, filed by Canadian design and marketing company Creative Thinkers, Inc, alleges the Wilkies entered into an agreement with Creative Thinkers to bottle BLACKWATER(TM), a specialty health water infused with a proprietary blend of fulvic and humic acid. However, instead of working with Ivan Solomon (the owner of Creative Thinkers), his partner Gordon Jung, and their corporation, Blackwater Innovations Corp., the Wilkies allegedly stole the idea and trademark and marketed the product with the Manzo-Laurita family.
“One of the core premises of trademark law is the right and ability to protect one’s name against imitations and customer confusion,” saidBobby A. Ghajar, one of the attorneys representing Creative Thinkers. “This case goes to the heart of trademark law.”
In July 2011, Blackwater Innovations Corp. sent a cease and desist letter to BLK after the Wilkies claimed they developed the idea for the product after they witnessed the water heal their sick mother. However, the suit alleges the defendants received confidential information about the Blackwater specialty product in a November 2009 agreement, and agreed to keep information about the health water confidential.
The court documents allege the Manzo-Laurita family inappropriately used their reality TV fame to sell a false story about how the idea for the blackwater drink originated. Creative Thinkers insists that the family stole the idea after attending a food industry trade show. At the trade show, the Manzo-Laurita family allegedly saw the BLACKWATER(TM) product and conspired with the Wilkies to steal the product, marketing and distribution plan.
“We are confident that the evidence will prove that the Manzo-Laurita family and the Wilkies stole the BLACKWATER(TM) specialty concept,” said Mark D. Litvack, one of the attorneys on the case. “The Manzo-Laurita family has wrongfully used its fame to steal another’s idea, and this suit seeks to restore ownership of BLACKWATER(TM) to its true originator.”
Creative Thinkers, Inc. is now seeking to “have its stolen property returned, to recover the monies and good will wrongfully taken from it, and to prevent the defendants from wrongfully profiting from their theft, deception and infringement.”
Blackwater Innovations Corp., Solomon, and Jung have also filed a countersuit responding to claims by BLK that they had infringed the company’s trademark rights. BLK had originally filed their lawsuit as a response to the July 2011 cease and desist letter they received.
If you take the time to blink by the time you open your eyes there will be some rehashed new Real Housewives of New Jersey drama. In the latest Melissa Gorga‘s crusade to prove she was not, under any circumstances, in any way possible a stripper, exotic dancer, go-go dancer, adult entertaintress — whatever. Nope not for one hot moment! Girl, give it up already — we don’t care!
If you remember the blog AllAboutTRH interviewed Angelo Vrohidis who was the manager of Lookers where Melissa worked possibly as a bartender (according to her) and possibly as a dancer (according to him). Melissa was so enraged by this accusation she accused him of being a drug addict on Twitter and then threatened to sue any media outlets who claimed she had danced. Even going so far as to have her ex-manager speak out saying she was a bartender and having the owner of Lookers, Chris Kontos, sign a sworn affidavit corroborating those claims. She also promised she would get payroll sheets proving she was merely a bartender.
Well, they’re heeeere! See, in his interview Angelo explained the payroll system claiming strippers were paid as independent contractors and other employees were on the bar’s payroll. “You have to understand, bartenders got paid by checks. Dancers were independent contractors that did not get paid by the establishment,” Angelo described. “Its different now but she worked a long time ago and that’s how it was back then. When Melissa worked, we didn’t pay the dancers and they didn’t pay us.”
And now Melissa AllAboutTRH has produced paystubs that verify she worked 7-hours per week for about one year (literally Jan 2003 – Dec 2003) as a part-time bartender. While, this does verify that Melissa bartended, some of her story doesn’t add up. Melissa claimed she worked at the club as a bartender for a few months and her manager, Larry Guarino, was quoted as saying: “She was a bartender for a couple of months years ago, it was such a short time. She was never ever a dancer.” Angelo also said she worked at the club for less than a year.
The payroll sheet clearly shows she was employed at least a full year. Some commenters wondered if the paystubs could be made up to substantiate Merlissa’s claims. And some fans wondered if Melissa could have been both dancing and bartending? While it really doesn’t matter and it was years ago, the stories still don’t add up for Melissa.
Moving on, things are apparently getting better between Dina Manzo and Caroline Manzoas the two sisters are planning to spend Christmas together! Wetpaint Entertainment spoke to the Manzo spawn: Albie, Chris and Lauren (I’m sure Greggy was lurking around somewhere too) who revealed Dina would be part of the family Christmas festivities. “Christmas Eve is bigger for us than Christmas Day,” Lauren explained. “My mom is one of 11 kids. We have everyone over and we have a five-course meal and tons of presents. The whole great room is filled with presents.
“She’s part of the family. At the end of the day, we’re family and we love each other, no matter what happens on the show,” Lauren added. While they were excited to talk Christmas, the Manzo siblings were less enthused about the upcoming fourth season of RHONJ.
“It’s funny, but Season 4 is going to go a little bit backwards,” Albie revealed. “They showed some of the footage in Season 3 – the part where the cookbook comes out. But Season 4 had already been shooting and starts even before that.”
“The cookbook isn’t what started all the problems, it actually came in the middle of all the trouble,” Albie continued. “So in Season 4, you’ll see all the events that led to it.” And speaking of the climactic Posche Fashion Show, Lauren describes it as a “disaster,” confirming that everyone is mad at Teresa Giudice!
While Dina may still be working on her relationship with her sister, she’s getting along swimmingly with Teresa as the two friends had a girls night out in NYC! Dina posted on Twitter that she had a “no drama” dinner with Teresa and another friend this Friday night and included a picture. A copy of the photo is below.
Teresa talked the dinner on her personal website and explained the third friend, Jackie, was Dina’s Maid of Honor. “She’s actually the one who first introduced me and Dina,” Teresa wrote. I bet Caroline loves that Jackie!
“It’s soooooo nice to be able to hang out with my girlfriends again without cameras around for a change,” Teresa continued. “We’ve promised to do it at least once a month… ” While it’s great that she wants to pursue friendships away from cameras is she going to post about it every month on her website because to me that’s pretty much the same as having cameras there!
Unfortunately for Dina she took a lot of heat on Twitter from some fans that accused her of being disloyal to her sister by continuing a friendship with Teresa. Dina responded, Tweeting: “To a few of u who just won’t give it up, just because I had dinner with a friend doesn’t mean I hate my sister. Get over it, it’s a TV SHOW!” Good point! She also pointed out to fans that Teresa was the one who reached out to her to rekindle their friendship, adding: “It works both ways doll.” Twitter… ruining the lives of C-List celebrities everywhere!
[Photo Credits: WENN.com]
DO MELISSA’S PAYSTUBS PROVE SHE WASN’T A STRIPPER OR IS THERE MORE TO THE STORY? SHOULD DINA CONTINUE HER FRIENDSHIP WITH TERESA DESPITE THE FEUD?
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Meanwhile, Melissa Gorga, pictured above with hubby Joe Gorga, attended the Zenvo ST-1 50S launch at the Liberty House Restaurant last week in New Jersey! Melissa helped launch the Zenvo ST-50S automobile. Produced in Denmark, the car is worth a cool $1.8 million!
Below are more photos of Melissa and Joe with the car! And finally, Dina Manzo got a new tattoo and a picture of that is below as well!
[Photo credit: Dave Kotinsky/Davekotinsky.com]
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Or perhaps they are just responding to the latest round of stories reported by In Touch Weekly, which are rumored to have been planted by Teresa, herself!
Speaking out on New York Live, Caroline did not hold back! “I noticed a change [in Teresa] when other ladies joined the cast,” she revealed. “We were acquaintances, not friends. Off camera, there was nothing — no interaction,” she insists.
“It has been an unbelievable experience. A growing experience, a learning experience, but I’ve had a lot of heartbreak because of it,” she explains, alluding to her rift with Dina Manzo, which she seems to believe was caused or at least exacerbated by Teresa. “So much I won’t say, because I don’t want to hurt anyone. I’m not going to blame the network. For a TV show, I’m not going to hurt someone. I’m not going to do it,” she declares.
Caroline is also still reeling from Teresa’s attacks against her children, who in her mind have never crossed the threshold into adulthood or something. “My children didn’t sign up for this. We put ourselves out there and have no idea.” Caroline insists, claiming they had never seen reality TV before joining the cast and were not prepared for the negativity.
Caroline also joined Melissa and Kathy Wakile for an interview with The Insider where they spoke about, what else – Teresa! Oh, and the upcoming Season 4 drama!
“Why should I feel sorry for someone who walks away from love?” Caroline asks, referring to castmate and never-really-friend Teresa. “You don’t have the right play the victim, when you’re the one doing all the hitting,” she admonished.
Describing her relationship with Teresa prior to the reunion and the explosive stripper-gate incident supposedly filmed the night before, Melissa expresses her shock over Teresa’s behavior. “I get very disappointed in her,” Melissa laments. “When we’re so good, why would you take that chance?”
“We were great, probably better than ever. And I owe a lot of that to Bravo” Melissa explains, claiming that the interaction required for the show brought them closer and helped a positive a more relationship develop.
As for the friendship between the other castmates, Melissa describes: “It’s just easy, there’s no insulting going on.” Caroline and Kathy echo those sentiments, claiming they are supportive of each other, not competitive, and they “help each other” by offering opportunity and support.
Melissa also spoke to Hollywood Life about the reunion and dealing with the sister-in-law from hell on national television. And she believes the other ladies did not gang up on Teresa!
“Everyone was upset with her,” she states. “We had an explosive night the day [before the reunion] — that was a lot of the reason for the bad blood that you saw,” Melissa reveals, refusing to give any more details about what may have happened.
“I felt the pressure she was going through,” Melissa mentions, claiming she tried to keep a low-profile since Teresa and Caroline were embroiled in so much animosity. “Obviously you saw the commotion between her and Caroline, so I didn’t want to sit there and her think that we were ganging up on her. That was not the intention at all. We’re not trying to team up on her. We are addressing the issue. That’s what the reunion is.”
Melissa also agreed that poor plagued by stripper-rumors, Jacqueline Laurita would not have been able to pull herself away from Twitter handle the reunion! “It was something that Teresa has done that Jacqueline does not agree with,” Melissa cites “She just wouldn’t be able to handle a nine-hour filming session.”
As for how Teresa could make amends with her family and her former (maybe never?) friends, Melissa thinks a simple apology will suffice. “We all do things wrong, we’re all not perfect; she just needs to be able to say ‘you know what, I’m sorry.’” Although Melissa confirms: family is family. “I’m always going to be here to support her and her children.”
My Thoughts: Caroline’s new-found relationship with Melissa and Kathy seems eerily similar to her prior fauxlationship with Teresa! And for someone who was merely an on-camera acquaintance she certainly played up the “like family/thick as thieves” angle in S2 and off camera in interviews and appearances. Which is interesting because Caroline emphatically states over and over that she does not lie. Now, I am 100 percent certain Bravo demanded their relationship seem authentic, but Caroline did a mighty good job of convincing us that it was! Also, Teresa’s reactions at the reunion seemed to indicate she believed they had an authentic relationship (although it’s hard to be sure with her).
Second of all Caroline’s children are adults and have been for the duration of filming. Therefore they did sign up for this show – they knowingly signed contracts, agreed to film, and were compensated for their involvement. Does that give Teresa the right to insult their ideas or behaviors in a cookbook for her own financial gain? No, of course not. But the Manzo children are not innocent by-standers in the situation. They insulted Teresa plenty this season and did not seem to have any qualms about their behaviors. The children who truly did not sign up for this show are those of the Gorgas, Giudices, and Lauritas (save for Ashlee).
THOUGHTS? DO YOU THINK THERE IS HOPE FOR TERESA RECONNECTING WITH HER FAMILY AND CASTMATES? DO YOU BELIEVE CAROLINE, KATHY, AND MELISSA HAVE A GENUINE RELATIONSHIP? ARE CAROLINE’S CHILDREN INNOCENT VICTIMS OR IS SHE OVER-REACTING?
Above is a photo of Bravo Housewives Alex McCord, NeNe Leakes, Melissa Gorga and Marysol Patton as they attended The Real Housewives Tour in Atlanta, GA, at the Cobb Energy Center, on October 16. The ladies walked the red carpet before taking to the stage and chatting with each other and audience members.
Below, Teresa Giudice photographed filming Celebrity Apprentice! Caroline Manzo steps out to support son Albie Manzo! And speaking of Albie, he stepped out with his new girlfriend!Kelly Bensimon is pictured with rapper Jay Z, Bethenny Frankel takes a walk with Baby Bryn, Taylor Armstrong tapes a new interview for Extra,plus more photos of Nene Leakes, Melissa Gorga& more!
Also below, Kim Kardashian, Snooki, Robert Kardashian, The Situation, Holly Madison, Kendra Wilkinson & more!
Photo credit: Dan Harr / Splash News
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In light of all the real-time drama of the past few days, I felt very sad watching last night’s episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey. Teresa, Kathy, The Joes, and Melissa all made-up and seemed to be working positively towards the future, but current drama lets us know it doesn’t last!
These women have sold their integrity and self-respect, and in the process destroyed their families and friendships for a small piece of fame and little bit of extra money. I hope it was worth it. And when no one remembers who they are, except for the fleeting memories of how they once appeared on our TV screens to embarrass themselves for amusement and some designer shoes; I hope the little bit of extra money they earned is at least enough to pay for their kids’ therapy. Lord knows, they’ll need it!
Full disclosure: I don’t believe Teresa set Melissa up. 1) I don’t believe she’s capable of masterminding something that involved. Or keeping it a secret long enough for it to pan out. 2) She seems to really love her brother. I do believe she wants a relationship with him at all costs. As to what happened, I suppose maybe time will tell, and maybe not.
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In the never-ending saga that is the Real Housewives of New Jersey, the gang heads to Punta Cana and it’s more of the same: drunken antics, terrible trashy clothing, and bickering. To borrow a phrase from the one, the only Juicy: “Shut UP!”
Preparing for a luxurious 5-day kid-free stay in Punta Cana on Bravo’s dime, at The Gorga Marble Compound, Joe, after stuffing his children in a suitcase, begins personally inspecting all Melissa’s stripper bikinis by sniffing the crotch. In front of his mother-in-law and his children he is sniffing the crotch of his wife’s bathing suit while she dangles another hoochie mama confection in front of his face.
At the Giudice marble mansion, Teresa has raided the Victoria’s Secret Swimsuit Catalog from 1993 and is packing every sequined string bikini in the land. Melania takes this opportunity to assault and batter both her sisters. Um… where is Gabriella? Was she taken away by family services or something – I haven’t seen her all season. Maybe she’s already too embarrassed to be participating in this show. Joe promises to try and have a good time – Gia echos what we’re all thinking when she gives him a disbelieving look.
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