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.
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]
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE ALL THE PHOTOS!
RadarOnline is reporting that Chrisand his brother Joseph formed Signature Apparel Group (a company that once owned brands such as Rocawear and Eve’s Fetish) in 2005 and “drained the company” amassing a debt of $7,804,227 which was used to “support their luxurious lifestyle”!
According to documents the company banked more than $250 million between 2005 and 2009, but then surprisingly declared bankruptcy in September 2009, and just like their friend Teresa, someone started complaining that the bankruptcy petition might just be fraudulent. The suspicious bankruptcy filing prompted the debtor “to come forward with the complaint”, claiming company monies were “misused,” RadarOnline reveals.
Chris and Joseph “drained the Company of all its funds and assets in order to support their families’ increasingly opulent lifestyle of private jets, limousines, extravagant parties, premium automobiles, designer clothing, ostentatious home furnishings and lavish vacations,” the complaint filed November 2, 2010 alleges. “Signature’s assets were misused to make outright and unjustified payments to Laurita family members, and to fund the operations of the Laurita brothers’ other companies and business ventures.”
So what exactly did the Lauritas spend all that money on? Well, according to the documents, here’s the breakdown:
Nearly $2 million in credit card payments for the Laurity Family, including payments to more than 40 bank accounts
At least $331,637 for payments on no less than eleven leased cars, including a Bentley and a Maserati
At least $284,793 in airline travel expenses for the Laurita Family
At least $145,894 for private airplane rentals for the Laurita Family
At least $7,280 for travel agent expenses for the Laurita Family
At least $755,184 to defendant Christopher Laurita for undocumented or insufficiently documented reasons
At least $784,160 of disbursements directed by the Laurita Director Defendants (Chris and Joseph) to unknown recipients, without any documentation whatsoever
Even worse, the complaint alleges that Jacqueline had knowledge that shady business dealings were taking place and willing participated in wrongfully accepting money from the company, which is why she is named as part of the suit! The documents claim Jacqueline, along with Anthony Laurita, “knew of the Laurita Director Defendant’s wrongful conduct, and each substantially assisted the Laurita Director Defendants in breaching their fiduciary duties by, among other conduct, accepting funds they each knew belonged to Signature and for which they each knew they had performed no services and/or provided no value.”
“Funds that should have been used to grow Signature’s business and to pay Signature’s vendors and creditors, instead were diverted to the Laurita Family Defendants.” Oops – that’s not good.
Chris has denied “nearly all of the 155 allegations made in the claim” and believes it should be summarily dismissed, citing: “a failure to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action and a failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” The case is still pending so Reality Tea keep you posted with all the updates! Jacqueline has yet to comment, but if Bravo had wind of this matter it may have been another reason she skipped the RHONJ Season 3 Reunion!
In my limited knowledge of bankruptcy law, this is what I understand to have happened: it seems that instead of paying creditors to keep the business lucrative the Lauritas allegedly pocketed the proceeds and spent the money for personal use, then filed bankruptcy to avoid paying their bills. Now they are being accused of fraudulently filing bankruptcy. Any legal or financial experts out there please chime in!
In other news, when it flurries it becomes a Norwegian! Just a few days ago it was reported that Jacqueline was indeed a stripper before marrying Chris and Jacqueline is still adamantly denying it! You know the old expression “the lady doth protest too much…”
Jacqueline took to her personal website to clear up any lingering suspicions about how she met Chris and is sticking to the story that they met while she was a convention model. She also posted yet another Tweet denying she was a stripper and accusing someone (ahem…Teresa) of leaking false stories: “Im being 100% honest w/everyone w/my story of how Chris&I met in Chicago. I WAS NOT A STRIPPER/PROSTITUTE as said by shady people 4 money”
I, for one, can’t wait to hear what sister in law from hell, Caroline Manzo has to say about the latest!
[Photo credit: Sylvain Gaboury / PR Photos]
THOUGHTS ON THE LAURITA’S FINANCIAL SITUATION? DO YOU BELIEVE THEY ARE INNOCENT OF ANY WRONG DOING? ARE YOU SURPRISED BY WHAT THE ARTICLE IS ALLEGING? DOES THE RECENT INFORMATION CHANGE YOUR OPINION OF JACQUELINE?
At first it appeared Jacqueline wasn’t going to respond to the shocking report, but she eventually did on Wednesday night when she took to her twitter page and wrote: “Chris and I want to share with you our wedding song…” The tweet included a link to a song by artist T-Pain titled “I’m In Love With A Stripper.”
Jacqueline later tweeted: “ITS A JOKE!!! GET IT????” She then added, “In case you were wondering… No, the rumors aren’t true. ( You know the ones;0) ).”
Jacqueline’s former friend and RHONJ costar Danielle Staubalso chimed in yesterday, maintaining Jacqueline was indeed a past stripper.
Hours after the report came out yesterday, Danielle, who has admitted to being a former stripper and then some, tweeted: “It only takes a moment to tell a lie but a lifetime to cover up! The truth always comes out! I’m proud that I’ve always kept it real.”
And when a fan asked Danielle why she never revealed Jacqueline’s alleged secret (though she sort of did weeks ago), Danielle replied: “That’s bc I’m not a backstabbing bitch I kept it to myself bc JL was so weak and asked me to not say anything.”
As we reported yesterday, Teresa Giudice also insinuated Jacqueline was a former stripper when she tweeted last month that she had “lots of ex-stripper friends…”She made that tweet the same day Jacqueline was making negative tweets about her.
As for Jacqueline’s friendship with Teresa UsWeekly is reporting that it is over for good and that Jacqueline has vowed she “will never speak to Teresa again.” She definitely has good reason as Jacqueline believes Teresa was the one who supplied In Touch Weekly with the stripper story.
The source reveals that Caroline Manzo is also done with Tre, stating that Caroline “hasn’t spoken to Teresa in months.” Our RHONJ insider told us the same thing weeks ago stating Caroline was NOT on speaking terms with Teresa, even before the Posche Fashion show drama. “Every time they get together to film, everyone’s fighting with Teresa,” says the source to UsWeekly. The ladies just wrapped up filming on season 4.
Teresa’s sister-in-law Melissa Gorgaadded: “Caroline is upset over the charade.” When it comes to the status of the Gorga/Giudice relationship, sources reveal it’s still definitely strained. “Teresa and Melissa still communicate for family stuff, but things are strained,” a show insider states.
As for the reunion drama, Melissa admits, “It was dramatic and painful to watch.”
Meanwhile, perhaps to further clear up the rumors that she met her hubby Chris Lauritawhile stripping, Jacqueline revealed on her blog today on exactly how she met her husband. Jacqueline wrote that she met Chris in “the summer of 1996 when Ashley was only five years old,” adding that at the time, she was renting “a chair in a salon doing hair as a licensed cosmetologist in Las Vegas.”
Jacqueline reveals she also did some modeling back then for “conventions that came to town.” Jacqueline says she “modeled clothes, shoes, accessories, electronics, computers” etc. She states she actually met Chris in Chicago during a trade show she was working at.
Photo Credit: Credit: Joseph Marzullo/Wenn.com
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST? DO YOU BELIEVE JACQUELINE’S TELLING THE TRUTH?
The latest issue of In Touch Weekly magazine, out on newsstands on Friday, is stating Jacqueline, 41, used to work as an exotic dancer in Las Vegas, Nev. before she met her husband Chris Laurita.
“She has confirmed her stripper past to multiple friends who are covering up for her,” a source tells the mag. “She is telling everyone to deny it!”
As for the reason Jacqueline decided to strip, another insider states it was because she needed the money. “At the time, she was a single mom who needed to dance at a club in order to pay her bills,” explains the insider. The insider also claims Jacqueline met her husband Chris at the club. Wowzers.
Even more interesting, the mag states the real reason Jacqueline skipped the RHONJ reunion was due to her fear of having her past revealed. “She feared that Danielle Staub would make a surprise appearance and tell all about Jacqueline’s stripping past,” shares a source. “She didn’t want to face the truth!” Indeed, former RHONJ star Danielle did reveal days before the reunion that producers from Bravo had been contacting her to film.
The mag also makes mention of the fact that Chris’ company, Signature Apparel Group, is dealing with major debts, citing the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009 and owed about $25 million. “She doesn’t want any of this coming out,” adds the insider.
There have always been rumblings about Jacqueline’s alleged past as a stripper. In fact just weeks ago, Danielle Staub, who used to be good friends with Jacqueline, tweeted that Jacqueline used to be a stripper. On October 1, a fan tweeted to Danielle ‘Would u mind responding to the rumors that [Jacqueline was] an exotic dancer years ago in LV?’ Danielle tweeted back, “She was and then some.”
And then right after the Posche Fashion show drama and falling out withTeresa Giudice, Teresa, in her ever so passive aggresive manner, seemed to insinuate Jacqueline was a past stripper. Teresa tweeted: “And for the record: I don’t believe MG was a stripper but I wouldn’t care anyway. (I have lots of ex-stripper friends… ahem…).” A screenshot of Tre’s tweet is below –
As for Jacqueline, she has yet to deny the report though she did tweet yesterday that Teresa was behind the latest In Touch cover story. “Im bracing myself 4more joy,I hear Teresa put out 1more article in intouch which should be the end of her 7cover contract.Can’t wait,” tweeted Jacqueline.
Photo credit: Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THIS SHOCKING REPORT? DO YOU BELIEVE JACQUELINE WAS A FORMER STRIPPER?
As we reported weeks ago, Bravo is currently filming season 4 of the RHONJ while the 3rd season is still on the air. A rarity for a Housewives series.
Well the Rumor Fix blog is now reporting that Jacqueline is filming her final scenes for Bravo.“It is confirmed that Jacqueline Laurita is now filming her LAST season of the Real Housewives of New Jersey,” states the blog.
“Jacqueline’s six-year contract is still in full force and effect and she is now filming limited scenes for Season Four but she does not want to return for Season Five. She just wants to have her normal life back and she’s hoping that Bravo will allow her to break her contract for the remaining two seasons,” adds the Rumor Fix.
Jacqueline, 41, didn’t help matters when she tweeted days ago, “I’m thinking I’d like 2 go back 2 being a normal family.I miss those days.I’d like us all to focus on positive things & positive people.”
Perhaps she’s over the drama with daughter Ashley Holmes and all the backlash. It has also been rumored that Ashley is barely filming for the new season as Jacqueline and hubby Chris Lauritakicked her out of their home. Ashley, who wants to move to California, is reportedly living in Texas at the moment. And let’s face it, while Jacqueline’s very likable, she’s mostly drama free on the show and doesn’t seem to have much of a storyline without Ashley.
Another factor could be wanting her privacy back. Just days after Ashley’s dad, Matt Holmes, appeared on the show, his arrest for arson, insurance fraud, and money laundering quickly made headlines. Only time will tell if Jacqueline is indeed leaving the show a la Dina Manzo. Jacqueline’s reported exit might also explain her recent blog in which she completely calls out her BFF Teresa Giudice.
Photo credit: Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THIS REPORT THAT JACQUELINE IS LEAVING RHONJ? IF TRUE, WILL YOU MISS HER?
UPDATE - According to Ashley’s twitter, she moved to LA yesterday. Ashley tweeted yesterday, “I’m moving to LA today!” later adding, “Been here for a total of 10minutes and i already LOVE my new home! #LA !!!!”
Ashley also wrote on her Celebuzz blog, “I have an internship waiting there for me with Buzznet & Celebuzz. I recently formed my own LLC. I’m currently working on my own clothing line that I hope to launch by 2012. I am working on building my own website, that will also be up and running soon. I am also writing a book. I think the content of the book is going to surprise a lot of people, no one REALLY knows me the way they think they do.”
Here’s to hoping she has her finances in order because in the words of Caroline Manzo, “You don’t want to hit rock bottom in California.”
As the second season of theReal Housewives of New Jersey dwindles to an end, thought you all might be interested in some amazing ‘before’ shots of the NJ ladies before they became famous, or infamous rather for one or two of them.