Bethenny Frankel is a pit bull when it comes to her businesses. So when she found out about a TikTok scam using her likeness, she didn’t hesitate to go after everyone.
As reported by Page Six, Bethenny is now suing the social media platform TikTok for allowing scammers to allegedly use her “image and likeness” to promote counterfeit products. In court documents, the former Real Housewives of New York star claimed that some of her almost million followers on TikTok alerted her to an ad. The ad was what appeared to be Bethenny promoting a designer cardigan. But the cardigan in question was a designer fake.
Bethenny clarified in the documents that a scammer used a past video of her talking about a different cardigan. They then edited to look like she was talking about the fake product, without her consent. After seeing the video for herself, Bethenny posted a warning to her followers on her own account. She urged them to be careful of the “unauthorized and illegal use of her persona to sell counterfeit goods.”
But according to Bethenny, TikTok deleted the video as it was flagged for being “abusive.” Now Bethenny is seeking compensation for damages to her reputation, which she said “suffered significant injury and irreparable harm.” The Skinnygirl founder is also requesting changes to TikTok’s advertising policy.
The lawsuit noted that influencers like Bethenny have to “constantly monitor for and police any unauthorized use of their name, portrait, picture and voice to ensure that counterfeiters and other unauthorized parties do not peddle counterfeited and other unauthorized products using their personas, voices, content, or likenesses. This requires substantial time and investment from the content creators, effort which is not always successful, and it is not compensated by TikTok in any form whatsoever.”
Since joining the platform, Bethenny has regularly used TikTok for everything from promoting her charity initiatives to gossiping about Real Housewives. Back in July, Bethenny took to her account to spill some major tea about her past dealings with Bravo to try and keep her on the show.
In speaking about her 2019 departure from RHONY, she revealed, “If I stayed, it would have been because of the money. I left because I wanted to leave. I was ready to leave, and I used a technicality deal point as my excuse. I had just lost someone very close to me, and I went to work when the show came back. I didn’t want to. Pros play hurt. I’m a professional. I show up on time, I deliver. That’s my reputation in business.”
She also used TikTok in April to share her thoughts on the newly conceptualized RHONY: Legacy series. Bethenny lip synced to an audio track that said, “It’s a long story, and it’s very f–king boring. Jesus. Like, f–k.” Bethenny wrote in the caption, “My thoughts on the #RHONY reboot…”
TELL US – DO YOU THINK BETHENNY SOULD SUE TIKTOK? WOULD YOU IF SOMEONE USED YOUR LIKENESS TO SCAM PEOPLE? DO YOU WANT BETHENNY TO JOIN RHONY: LEGACY?
[Photo Credit: John Lamparski/Getty Images]