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Shark Tank Star Daymond John Files For Restraining Order Against Ex-Contestants Amid Vicious Dispute

Shark Tank Star Daymond John Files For Restraining Order Against Ex-Contestants Amid Vicious Dispute

One of the star celebrity investors on Shark Tank is taking legal action against a group of former contestants whose business deal went seriously south after the show.

Daymond John chose to invest in Bubba Q’s Boneless Baby Back Ribs during the fifth season of Shark Tank. He partnered with Al ‘Bubba’ Baker (pictured above, inset), his wife Sabrina, and his daughter Brittani on the popular boneless food product.

The future looked bright after the group agreed the FUBU founder would take on 30% of the company in exchange for $300,000 on the show. But now, that deal has soured — and there’s a vicious legal battle ongoing.

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According to the Los Angeles Times, John has gone so far as to file for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction against the Bakers. His court filing seeks to prevent the family from publicly discussing their time on the show, as well as the aftermath of their allegedly difficult deal with Daymond.

Per the newspaper, John initially filed his restraining order request in New Jersey. However, a judge there dismissed the injunction demand last week, “citing jurisdictional issues.” Now, per the outlet, the business mogul has apparently re-filed an amended complaint which is “pending.” A business partner of John’s that entered into the deal with the Bakers as well, Rastelli Foods Group, has also filed for a temporary restraining order.

The restraining order ask comes after a bombshell Los Angeles Times report from two weeks ago about the Bakers’ deal with John. In that initial investigative report, the family claimed the $300,000 for 30% agreement on air was revised by John to $100,000 for a 35% stake after the show. Then, they alleged John “ignored their complaints” about the person tasked with building their website. That same individual allegedly “controlled the business’ bank account” outside of the Bakers’ watch, too.

That initial Times report also asserted Al Baker was “excluded from key business meetings” and “left in the dark regarding real-time financial information” about the business. Ultimately, the Bakers claim they only received roughly four percent of the publicly-claimed $16 million in revenue from the biz.

In his new restraining order request, John calls those previously-published allegations a “willful and malicious smear campaign.” The biz mogul also claimed he was only a “non-managing partner” of the baby back ribs brand akin to a “brand ambassador” and “without access or control over the company’s books and records.” Since then, per John’s filing, the Baker family has “continued to post outrageous, damaging, and false video content with the goal of inflicting harm on Plaintiffs.” He asserts in this TRO request that the Bakers  have even cost him business opportunities, citing a speaking engagement offer that was rescinded supposedly because of the controversy.

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John’s attorney Zach Rosenfield also released a statement to the media about the restraining order. Per People, the Shark Tank star’s attorney slammed the Baker family and asserted their “blatant actions” to undermine the business deal are what is actually at fault in the failed partnership:

“After repeated attempts to give the Bakers the ability to correct their violations, it is unfortunate that it has come to this. 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.”

As for the Bakers, they offered their take in a statement of rejoinder initially filed with the aforementioned court in New Jersey before that restraining order request was dismissed. The family claimed in court that it’s their right to speak publicly about their business experiences, and stated:

“It is our belief that Rastelli Foods and Daymond John have breached the settlement agreement by excluding Al from participation and collaboration regarding the product. … [These actions] are causing us irreparable harm, particularly as the time on our patent is running out. We have reason to suspect fraudulent and illegal activities in the accounting practices between Rastelli Foods and Daymond John. We have reached out to governmental agencies to investigate this matter, as we believe it is in the best interest of the public.”

Wow.

For now, it appears the 54-year-old’s restraining order request will be assessed by a new judge soon. From there, we’ll see what else happens with this sordid situation.

You can revisit the Bakers’ initial turn on Shark Tank (below):

From that happy, heartwarming story of landing a life-changing deal to this unfortunate result. Damn…

Reactions, Perezcious readers?

[Image via Shark Tank/ABC/YouTube]

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Jun 02, 2023 10:05am PDT