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.
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?
Well, finally – finally – we reached the season finale to the arduous, tortuous, never-ending season of Real Housewives of New Jersey. And it was kinda disappointing, no? Maybe cause we already knew what was happening real time.
Things start off with Melissa meeting with Teresa’s her stylist, because she is an over-the-hill wannabe pop star and over-the-hill wannabe pop stars need to look good! Really booby and trampy apparently = good. Melissa’s stylist, or is it Teresa’s stylist, suggests she wrap a scarf around her boobs and wear it as a shirt. Right. Let me get this straight: TWO WOMEN are paying this woman money to make them look like hookers and fighting over who she styles? There is some issue about how Teresa didn’t want her to also style Melissa. Maybe she wanted Melissa to actually look good?
While Terlissa’s stylist is there, Melissa gets a call from Teresa about the family photoshoot they are planning. Melissa claims this is the first family photo shoot she and Joe have been invited to and she is excited to put the past behind her and move forward. Why do I not believe her?
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While things reached a boiling point during the Posche Fashion Show two weeks ago when Teresa reportedly plotted to expose Melissa Gorga as a past stripper, a RHONJ insider tells us Caroline and Jacqueline had stopped talking to Teresa before that event.
The reason? The two have had it with her after seeing her true colors. “They have seen the real Teresa through this last season with Melissa. Melissa is very close with Jacqueline and Caroline,” reveals the insider.
While Joe Gorga’sscreaming match with Kim D. at the Posche fashion show has been widely reported, our insider adds that Jacqueline and Teresa also got into a big fight that night. In fact the two former BFFs will be seen getting into A LOT of fights on the upcoming 4th season which is still filming at the moment.
Another reason for the tension between Caroline/Jacqueline and Teresa also has to do with Teresa’s many business ventures. Apparently, Teresa has been stepping on Jacqueline and Caroline’s toes by entering into businesses she knew they were planning to do.
“Teresa knew what Jacqueline and Caroline were working on as far as business deals and Teresa went behind their backs and copied what they were doing…. in other words she stole their ideas to make money,” said the insider. Yikes!
Our source adds that Caroline and Jacqueline are absolutely done with Teresa! “Jacqueline and Caroline think Teresa is a liar, vindictive, and so into the fame that she doesn’t care about anything anymore. Teresa will sabotage anyone to remain relevant.”
And while Melissa Gorga and Kathy Wakilehave been diplomatic with their recent public comments about Teresa, our NJ insider reveals that she continues to remain friendless as none of her RHONJ cast members attended the party to launch her Fabellini wine on Friday night.
“None of the other women, their husbands, or children were in attendance. Not one cast member was present. She has burned every bridge she had,” says the insider. “Dina Manzo was there for less than an hour. None of Teresa’s “friends” were there. It was all family and the Bravo crew.”
Also in attendance was Teresa’s brother-in-law Pete Giudice and his wife Sheila Giudice. It has been rumored that Bravo is considering bringing Sheila on for season five.
Our insider adds that Sheila, who isn’t a fan of Teresa’s, is desperate to be on the show and has now switched her alliance from Team Melissa to Team Teresa! With the reports of Caroline and Jacqueline leaving the show after season 4, it will be interesting to see if Bravo decides to bring Sheila on.
Moving on to tonight’s finale/the 19th episode this season, below is a preview clip –
Watch What Happens Live – The guests tonight are Melissa Gorga and Jay Mohr! Shoould be a good one!
Photos credit: Dave Kotinsky/Davekotinsky.com
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE REASONS CAROLINE & JACQUELINE ARE NO LONGER TALKING TO TERESA? THOUGHTS ON TONIGHT’S FINALE?
UPDATE – As seen in the above preview clip, Caroline is not only ticked at what Teresa wrote about her in the cookbook but at also what Teresa wrote about her son Christopher Manzo. Below is what Teresa said about Chris via two excerpts from her cookbook -
“This is a family cookbook! Unlike some of the other “Housewives,” I do not condone young girls stripping to bring in business to a car wash, old ladies in hot pants climbing up on a pole to bring their sexy back, or videotaping yourself in any state of undress at any time. “
“That’s how it is with us Italians… We spoil our kids rotten, so much that they never want to leave home. Albie and Christopher Manzo are adorable, but don’t let them fool you. Their “L” in “GTL” (Gym-Tanning-Laundry) is “Leave it for Mom.” That’s just how it is, and how we moms like it.”
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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This all stems from the widely reported brawl that took place earlier this year when the RHONJ cast visited the Dominican Republic for a vacation which was being filmed for the Bravo hit show.
Adolfo Arreola (pictured above), an officer with the University of Illinois at Chicago’s police department, claims he suffered a broken arm, blurred vision, cuts and bruises after some members of the cast “savagely beat, kicked, punched, scratched, jumped” on him and smashed glass on his head, according to his lawsuit.
His cousin Jason A. Gomez (pictured below) also claims he suffered a broken leg and a torn MCL after he came to Adolfo’s defense.
In the lawsuit uncovered by the Chicago Tribune, Adolfo, 42, and his cousin allege that on the early morning of Feb. 23, they and their families were dancing and socializing at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino bar in Punta Cana when Teresa sprayed champagne on Adolfo’s mother-in-law and mocked the 53-year-old woman as she tried to wipe the alcohol from her eyes. They allege other cast members stood around her laughing at the incident.
Adolfo states that after that, he confronted Teresa, and was attacked by cast members that included her husband,Joe Giudice, and sons of Caroline – Albieand Chris Manzo. Bravo is named in the lawsuit as well as Albie & Chris’s roommate Gregory Bennett. The earlier reports that came out stated Joe was “beating on the guy” and struck a male patron with glass.
However, this is where things get a little tricky as Adolfo acknowledges in the lawsuit that two days after the encounter on Feb. 25, he and his cousin signed an agreement agreeing to drop the matter in exchange for $25,000 apiece as long as they agreed never to sue or talk about the incident publicly.
In fact, the cousins immediately paid $8,000 to their Dominican lawyer though they claim they never cashed their $17,000 cut. Adolfo and Jason are however now claiming they signed that agreement under duress so that they could get their passports back and leave the country. Their lawyer is asking a court to declare the release invalid. It’s not clear where the money came from but it might be safe to assume it came from Bravo. It was also reported a while back that the network had no plans to air any of the fight footage.
Adolfo claims he underwent surgery on his right arm and is now undergoing physical therapy. And as for those reports that stated he punched Teresa in the face, Adolfo denies those claims.
More pictures below of Adolfo and his cousin Jason’s injuries.
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LAWSUIT? DO YOU THINK IT HAS ANY MERIT?
TMZ reported over 2 weeks ago that some of the Real Housewives of New Jersey cast members got into a bar brawl during a visit to the Dominican Republic, which was being filmed by Bravo for the third season.
Just how serious was this bar brawl? Well let’s just say it was serious enough for the overseas cops to detain Joe, Albie and Christopher along with their roommate Gregory Bennett.
The drama began on February 23 at about 1am when cast members including Caroline and her husband Albert, Teresa and Joe, Jacqueline and Chris Laurita, newbies Kathy and Richy Wakile, Melissa and Joe Gorga, plus the Manzo children (Chris, Albie, and Lauren) visited the Hard Rock in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
While the police isn’t certain about who started the fight, sources reveal the bar brawl ensued after the NJ Housewives’ group popped open a bottle of champagne, accidentally spraying surrounding patrons, including the male patrons involved in the fight.
“Everyone was involved. It became a massive scene,” said a source. “Usually when there’s a fight we take one guy, but this time we took everybody,” a police representative told Radar.
The physical fight involved about eight people including Joe, Albie, Christopher and Gregory, who were reportedly defending the women. The source reveals Joe was “beating on the guy” and struck a male patron with glass. This coincides with the TMZ report which also stated someone involved grabbed a drinking glass and smashed it over a man’s head.
According to the police, it was the injured male patrons who made the complaint to them. The two injured patrons were Americans Adolfo Arriolla, who had a fracture in his arm, and Jason Gomez, who suffered a fracture in his leg and scratches on his face. There were other injured parties who suffered bruises.
The authorities took the complaint seriously as the two injured patrons along with Joe, Albie, Christopher and Gregory were detained and taken to the police station where their passports were seized.
Everyone detained was ultimately released the afternoon of Wednesday, February 23 when local attorneys helped smooth over the situation and a verbal agreement was reached between all parties. No charges were filed according to police. A photo of Teresa, Joe, Christopher and Lauren from the trip is below.
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST WITH THE NJ HOUSEWIVES CAST? ARE YOU AS EXCITED ABOUT THE THIRD SEASON AS WE ARE?