Shark Tank investor and FUBU founder Daymond John was granted a restraining order against the owners of Bubba’s Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs, who are former contestants he partnered with on the show, according to Deadline.
On Friday, New Jersey U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler ruled in the Brooklyn native’s favor concerning the smear campaign conducted by Al “Bubba” Baker, his wife Sabrina and their daughter Brittani following their appearance during the fifth season of the hit ABC show. He and his daughter went on Shark Tank to showcase their boneless ribs. The flavor of the ribs made quite the impression, which led John to be one of two “sharks” interested in a partnership with the former NFL player. He offered the BBQ guru $300,000 for a 30% stake, contingent on securing the license deal, which the Ohio native accepted at the time.
Following an investigative article by the Los Angles Times, the Baker family raised questions about a few fundamental business practices that his partners John and Rastelli Foods Group were doing because he deemed them unfair. He claimed they allegedly gave him false guidance, wanted to remove his family from the entire business, blocked valuable deals with other companies, disregarded their complaints and changed the original deal they agreed to on Shark Tank to $100,000 for a 35% stake and have only received 4% of the $16 million in revenue the business has made.
In response to the article, The FUBU CEO denied these accusations saying as he’s only been a helping hand, sharing his resources, and doesn’t have access to the company’s bank accounts and is more of a “brand ambassador” according to his complaint. He said Bubba “intentionally broke the confidentiality” in an almost four-minute video that was posted across his social media platforms in his defense.
When the Bakers caught wind of his video, they responded with their own videos and pictures on social media of what they claimed to be receipts, but they have since been deleted. This caused Shark Tank fans to hound John with questions reported by the LA Times so he felt this was not only dangerous to his brand but his safety as well.
Due to this, in addition to granting the restraining order, Judge Kugler also ordered the Bakers to take down all “disparaging’ social media posts,” reported Deadline.
“All the Bakers’ posts are negative, disparaging, or both and certainly could impact DFV’s and John’s reputation, goodwill, and credibility,” the judge wrote in his ruling that Deadline obtained. “These posts clearly caused reputational harm that John will now have to deal with and counter.”
This week a New York judge dismissed the businessman’s restraining order filing against Bubba, Brittani and his wife Sabrina due to jurisdictional issues. John and his legal team filed an amended complaint that is now pending approval.
“After repeated attempts to give the Bakers the ability to correct their violations, it is unfortunate that it has come to this,” Zach Rosenfield, a representative for John said in a statement according to LA Times. “This temporary restraining order is due to the Bakers’ blatant actions to undermine a business partnership and the legal parameters they agreed to 4 years ago. Their belief that they can unwind poor business decisions through slanderous social media posts and articles will no longer be tolerated.”
Following the verdict, the entrepreneur says he finally feels at ease because the fake news will not continue to spread. He released a statement on his Instagram to celebrate the moment of redemption with the caption, “🚨BREAKING NEWS🚨Thanks to everyone who has supported me from the storm of false statements and bogus claims that came after me for one of my #SharkTank investments. And thank you to all those that support the truth, not flashy clickbait headlines. I take a lot of pride in reputation as someone who supports entrepreneurs and I will not have this stop me from continuing to empower and educate entrepreneurs around the globe. We need to stand up for ourselves when the truth isn’t told.”
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