Bethenny’s ex-manager, Doug Wald, claimed that he helped her put together the deal and that just days before her big $120 million payout, she fired him. Wald had stated that he helped Bethenny find an agent and introduced her to David Kanbar, who put together the business plan for Skinnygirl and helped Bethenny grow it and sell it for a nice profit to Beam Global.
When it rains, it pours. Just days after it was reported the Whole Foods supermarket chain yanked her Skinnygirl drinks, Bethenny Frankel is now facing a class action lawsuit over just that.
The AP is confirming that not one, but two new class action lawsuits have been filed against the Bethenny Ever After star and Beam — the company that purchased the Skinnygirl drinkline from her for a reported $100 million — alleging they lied to consumers about the contents of the Skinnygirl margarita mix.
Whole Foods released a statement last week confirming it pulled the products because “it contains a preservative that does not meet our quality standards.” Beam also released a statement admitting that while the Skinnygirl Margarita does contain the preservative sodium benzoate, it is in “very low levels.”
TMZ reports that in one of the class action lawsuits filed in California, a consumer claims she and many others were duped by Beam Global Spirits for making “deceptive statements” on the label of Skinnygirl. The label says the drink is “all natural.”
The lawsuit further claims that Beam’s advertisement that the drink is “all natural” and contains no preservatives are false because the drink contains sodium benzoate. Those behind the lawsuit want to force Beam to “engage in a corrective advertising campaign” and pay unspecified damages.
Beam released the following statement in response to the lawsuits: “In today’s litigious society, nothing is surprising. The litigation filed in relation to the labeling of Skinnygirl Margarita is frivolous. We will defend our case vigorously, and we are fully confident we will prevail.”
As for Bethenny, she has yet to respond to the lawsuits though she did defend her drink line yet again this week on her website. Her statement is below -
“We would not sell anything that I don’t personally drink. I’m a natural foods chef and health is a top priority for me and my family. The Skinnygirl Margarita is made with natural ingredients and its label is consistent with U.S. federal regulations, which is why it is carried in stores nationwide and continues to fly off the shelves.
I built my brand on trust and honesty. I don’t take lightly obvious attempts to put my integrity in question. I will always answer your questions and concerns directly and truthfully.”
Photo credit: WENN.com
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS? DO YOU THINK IT HOLDS ANY MERIT?
Two months after an ex-manager sued her for $100 million claiming breach of oral contract, Bethenny Frankel is speaking out about the “frivolous” lawsuit.
During a recent visit to Canada to promote her Skinnygirl drink line, the Bethenny Ever After star gave an interview to the Globe and Mail during which she displayed her trademark brutal honesty. “That doesn’t bother me,” she retorts when asked about the lawsuit. “That’s frivolous and I would spend $20-million to punish him for wasting my time, the legal system’s time and that bag of bullshit. I will send back all the purses and all the diamonds and everything to sue that guy’s ass and put him where he belongs.”
And when it comes to her Bravo reality show, Bethenny was asked if there’s a part of her people do not get to see on the show. “I get very moody and grouchy,” she admits. “Sometimes, I’m from a place of no.” You don’t say Bethenny?
When asked what her estranged mother Bernadette Parisella Birkwould think of her mega success (she sold her drink line for a reported $120 million), Bethenny replies, “I don’t know what she makes of my success.” She continues, “I’m sure it’s quite shocking and overwhelming to her,” adding she hasn’t talked to her “in years.”
As in past interviews, Bethenny once again reiterated her plans to leave the world of reality television sooner than later. “We won’t be doing this for much longer at all,” she declares. “I don’t want to be on reality TV that much.”
And what is Bethenny’s advice to her fans who would like to be in her shoes? “I have always believed in myself,” she states about her work ethic. “You treat every job as if it’s the most important job, and you will end up where I have ended up.”
Meanwhile ABC announced that Bethenny will return to The View talk show on Tuesday, July 12 as a guest co-host.
The isn’t Bethenny’s first time on the show as she also co-hosted last summer during which she got into a minor disagreement with Joy Behar over breast feeding. After Bethenny complained that that breastfeeding can be “the hardest thing in the whole world,” Joy stated, “I didn’t find it hard at all” and that Bethenny “shouldn’t tell women” it’s difficult.
As we reported, Doug Wald of Los Angeles-based Raw Talent is claiming he helped Bethenny develop her Skinnygirl cocktail line only to be cut out of the company, which was sold for a reported $120 million to Beam Global in March.
In the court documents, Doug admits the Bethenny Ever After star fired him back in 2008 after managing her for just 3 months. He however feels he is entitled to 10% of the sale proceeds plus $100 million in punitive damages.
“Unfortunately, one of the signs of success is being the subject of frivolous lawsuits, like this one,” said Bethenny in a statement on Thursday. “This is simply someone with his hand out, who did nothing to earn it, and I am not going to be bullied. We are exploring all of our options, including filing counterclaims against these people.”
Doug also alleges in the suit that he was the one who introduced Bethenny to her Skinnygirl drink partner/liquor industry veteran David Kanbar.
Bethenny spoke out once again in a separate statement to PEOPLE. “Life is good for me with all the things that are most important, namely family. But let’s be clear, I am a strong woman, and I am not afraid and won’t back down when I’m bullied by something with zero merit. Success is earned by hard work, not taking advantage of others.”
Meanwhile, Bethenny is keeping her head up as she was photographed above walking the streets of NYC on Wednesday, the same day the lawsuit was filed. A bigger image of Bethenny below.
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON BETHENNY’S COMMENTS? DO YOU THINK DOUG DESERVES 10% OF THE SALE PROCEEDS?
“More money, more problems,” – Bethenny Frankel on WWHL May 8, 2011.
First comes the success, then the lawsuits. On the heels of selling her Skinnygirl cocktail line for a reported $120 million, Bethenny Frankel is now being sued by her former manager for $100 million.
Her former management company is claiming they helped broker her pairing with the Skinnygirl cocktail brand only to be cut out of the mega deal that followed afterwards.
Los Angeles-based Raw Talent sued the Bethenny Ever Afterstar today in L.A. Superior Court. The company co-president Doug Wald alleges he met Bethenny in May 2008, while she was appearing on the Real Housewives of NYC. Bethenny then signed with APA on August 7, 2008 and orally agreed that day to retain Wald as her personal manager and pay Raw 10 percent of her earnings (she allegedly confirmed the relationship in an email sent the next day).
Wald claims he gave Bethenny advice on her Skinnygirl line and even hooked her up with her business partner/liquor industry veteran David Kanbar.
Oddly enough, Raw Talent admits Bethenny fired Wald in November 2008, days before signing her deal to develop and market Skinnygirl. Fast forward to today, and the brand has become a huge success. Seventeen months after Bethenny and David went into business together, they sold the company in March for a reported $120 million deal.
Raw Talent now claims its entitled to 10% of that deal, or an estimated $12 million. The company also wants $100 million in punitive damages to make an example out of Bethenny. The suit alleges causes of action for fraud, breach of oral contract and other counts. Neither Bethenny nor her reps have yet to comment.
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LAWSUIT? DO YOU THINK IT HOLDS ANY MERIT?