Shark Tank's so-called sharks take a risk each time they decide to invest in a contestant's starting business, and according to longtime entrepreneur and cast member Daymond John, one of these partnerships has proved disastrous.
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Shark Tank star, who has been a part of the show for 14 seasons, was seeking a restraining order against three past contestants.
The move comes as former contestants Al "Bubba" Baker, his wife Sabrina and daughter Brittani, who own Bubba Q's Boneless Baby Back Ribs, are alleging that Daymond had cut them out of profits and tried to seize control of the business.
Now the star is taking action against their claims. In a statement to People, his spokesperson Zach Rosenfield said the Baker family are trying "to undermine a business partnership and the legal parameters they agreed to four years ago."
The statement further said: "After repeated attempts to give the Baker's the ability to correct their violations. It is unfortunate that it has come to this."
It explained: "This temporary restraining order is due to the Baker's 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," it concluded.
The Baker family first appeared on the show and pitched their pre-cooked boneless baby back ribs business back in 2013, and at the time, Daymond made a $300,000 offer for 30 percent of the company. However, the family now claims that in a moment off the air, the deal was reduced to $100,000 for 35 percent.
The Bakers have shared a slew of videos on social media reiterating their claims, and Daymond in turn shared his own video on TikTok addressing the controversy, after which he sent a cease-and-desist letter to the family demanding they were "making publicly disparaging or defamatory remarks against Plaintiffs" and that they must "cease publicly revealing Confidential Information," according to the Los Angeles Times.
"Sharing our experience on social media is an honest and truthful account of our journey," the Bakers said in a subsequent letter to a New Jersey federal judge, adding: "We firmly believe that the truth is in the best interest of the public."
They also claimed that Daymond as well as manufacturer Rastelli Foods Group's business practices have caused "irreparable harm, particularly as the time on our patent is running out," though the case was dismissed by the federal judge.
In his TikTok video, Daymond accused the Bakers of intentionally violating their confidentiality agreement by discussing their claims with the Los Angeles Times, and said: "At best, this is not true, and that's me being kind." He added in his caption: "I'm not one to give oxygen to false information and bogus claims – especially ones that are rehashing things that were addressed through the legal process nearly four years ago. But I know when I need to stand up for myself."
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