Posts Tagged ‘lawsuit’

Suzanne Somers Poses Nude for Birthday, Sues QVC

October 28, 2019

This blog is a tease, and if we could find out more we would, but here it is: Veteran home shopping vendor Suzanne Somers has filed a lawsuit against QVC.

Bloomberg Law, which requires a subscription to get the full text of its news stories, wrote about the suit about a week ago. The case is Docket No. 19-cv-4773.

Actress, author and entrepreneur Somers — who has sold products on HSN, ShopHQ and QVC — has charged QVC with fraud and antitrust violations in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, “claiming the at-home shopping company used catch-and-kill tactics to favor another dietary supplement over hers,” according to Bloomberg Law.

It reported:

Somers, the former star of the TV sitcoms “Three’s Company” and “Step By Step,” sells supplements through her company SLC Sweet Inc., according to her complaint. Before inking a deal with QVC, she marketed the products through her own website and platforms run by other home shopping businesses, including HSN Inc. and Evine, now known as ShopHQ.

Around the time QVC was negotiating with Somers, it was also…

But that’s all we could read without paying for a sub.

This brouhaha broke about the same time as another tempest in a teapot, when Somers posed topless, her arms across her chest, on her 73rd birthday 0ct. 16. She posted the photo on Instagram, causing a furor over whether a woman her age should have been a bare-naked lady or not. Publications like The New York Post and People magazine wrote about it.

Frankly, we were far more disturbed to see her and her husband Alan Hamel in a video, where he had painted his toenails the same deep color blue that we got for our pedicure yesterday.

Author of HSN’s ‘Used-Car Salesman’ Email Sues Over Firing

December 10, 2018

The HSN talent agent who wrote the infamous email — which WE first reported on — that chided the home network’s vendors and hosts for sounding like “used-car salesmen” is suing over his subsequent firing.

Gordie Daniels has filed a lawsuit in Florida against HSN and its new owner, Qurate Retail, the company that is also the parent of QVC, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Basically, Daniels claims that he was canned despite the fact that he was trying to create the on-air culture that Qurate wanted, similar to QVC.

The problem was that the email was about as tactful as your drunk uncle at that last wedding you went to. In a nutshell, Daniels told HSN folk to lay off the hard sells. He issued a list of Dos-and-Don’ts, which went over like a fart in church. Vendors were infuriated by the memo.

Daniels, who was fired because of his missive, in his lawsuit claims he was just the messenger that was killed for delivering the unpopular message from new management to HSN.

“QVC was very upset with how on-air talent was performing,” the suit said, according to the Tampa Bay paper. “Guests were stepping outside the roles QVC wanted them to play, and hosts were often unable to control their shows effectively. Guests were talking over hosts. Talent discussed topics such as pricing … and shipping which QVC did not want discussed. Some guests were also making overaggressive sales presentations.”

“(HSN) falsely branded (Daniels) as an insubordinate, unprofessional, rogue employee who launched an ‘insulting,’ ‘condescending,’ and ‘disrespectful’ email to on-air talent,” the lawsuit said, the Tampa paper reported. “(HSN) lied about what actually happened surrounding the email so it and QVC could save face and use (Daniels) as the scapegoat for a few people’s anger over QVC’s new direction.”

BTW, the Tampa Bay paper credits “Page Six,” the gossip column of the New York Post, with first obtaining and publishing the email.

Wrong. We broke the story.

Ex-QVC Exec Sues $150,000 Dating Service

August 10, 2017

Thanks to Steve Bryant for tipping us off to this one, and it’s a doozy.

A former top QVC executive has filed a very unusual lawsuit, seeking damages from a high-end dating service that she claimed did her wrong. The case settled quickly, but the suit was an eye-popper.

A lot of paper’s did stories on the short-lived litigation, but we’ll give you this detailed account from It’s a great read.

Darlene Daggett, QVC’s former president for U.S. commerce, alleges that she got rooked when she paid $150,000 to Kelleher International to find her a mate. Alas, like many of us know first-hand, it’s tough out there in the dating world for baby-boomer women.

“Kelleher’s ‘highly screened’ matches for Daggett included men who were married, mentally unstable, physically ill, pathological liars, serial Lotharios, stalkers, convicted felons, and men unwilling or unable to travel and/or the subject of professional sanctions,” according to the suit.

We’ll let you in on a little secret. Kelleher advertises in Phoenix magazine, which we subscribe to. Many years ago, when we were heading out to AZ, we called the dating service to get information about it.

When we heard the fees, which were out of this world, we quickly got off the phone – you know, like you do when you ask to see a piece of jewelry and its so pricey your eyeballs almost fall out of their sockets. And then you slink out of the store with your tail between your legs?

Anyway, if you ever feel bad about your dating life, just reread the story about Daggett’s lawsuit and you’ll feel much better.

QVC Notifies Wen Buyers Of $26.25 MiIlion Settlement

December 7, 2016

How the hell did this story get by us: Chaz Dean’s Wen Hair Care and marketer Guthy-Renker have reached a $26.25 million settlement of a class action suit brought by consumers who alleged the product made them lose hair.

People magazine, of all places, on Nov. 7 wrote about the proposed settlement of the lawsuit filed against QVC vendor Dean. At that time, the publication said that a South Cali federal judge would have to approve the deal.

See the Hair Loss Photos Behind the Wen Haircare Lawsuit Settlement

Apparently the judge did OK it, because QVC customers who bought Wen from the home shopping network have received emails about the multi-million dollar settlement.

There are two tiers of those eligible for greenbacks: Some will get $25 and others — who alleged severe damage to their hair and scalps — are entitled to up to $20,000.

Despite the settlement, Wen says it did no wrong.

“Wen by Chaz Dean is safe and we continue to provide our hundreds of thousands of customers with the Wen by Chaz Dean products that they know and love.” the company said in a statement. “Since the process of litigation is time consuming and costly, we made a business decision to pursue a settlement and put this behind us so that we can focus on delivering quality products.”

This summer the Food and Drug Administration announced that it was launching an investigation of Wen after receiving 127 consumer complaints against the product.

Maybe The Troubled Brand On QVC Is WEN

August 8, 2016

Yesterday we came to the same conclusion as one of our Facebook friends about the product on QVC whose sales tanked in the second quarter: WEN by Chaz Dean.

We could be wrong, of course. But that’s our guess.

In one of our recent blogs, we quoted QVC CEO Mike George’s remarks from a 2Q earnings call with Wall Street analysts last week.

George said that one of the home shopping network’s products had seen its sales dip, according to a transcript of the call from Seeking Alpha.

“Finally, one of our largest brands faced a significant drop-off in sales at QVC and other outlets, which did materially impact our overall results,” George said. “Now this particular issue is brand specific and not reflective of our overall consumer health.”

The WEN hair care products have run into a ton of trouble. Complaints from customers who lost hair after using WEN have filed a class-action suit against it, and the FDA is also investigating the complaints.

George said that the product that lost sales was sold at QVC and “other outlets,” and WEN is sold via infomercials as well as the Q.

Anyone have any more thoughts and guesses?

FDA Investigating WEN by Chaz Dean Complaints

July 27, 2016

Chaz Dean and his WEN hair care line are now on the radar of federal officials, after a sh-tload of complaints were filed regarding the QVC vendor’s conditioner-cleanser.

The Food and Drug Administration has announced that it is investigating the Left Coast hair stylist’s products, pointing out that it’s received more complaints about WEN than it’s ever received for any other hair-cleansing product. That’s a rather dubious distinction.

And WEN’s Sweet Almond Mint has caused the most problems.

We previously blogged about a class action lawsuit had been filed against Dean by disgruntled customers who claimed that his products were making their hair fall out.

Now the other shoe has dropped, with those complaints and others filed with the federales prompting the probe.

We don’t know if QVC will pull WEN from its inventory, but we know that it hasn’t posted the FDA’s announcement on its website yet.

We tried WEN once, but didn’t like it. The concept, as we understand it, was that WEN was a conditioner that was used to wash hair, rather than a harsh shampoo. But we use a ton of product on our hair to control the curl, and we just couldn’t buy the idea of not using a real shampoo to get that gunk out of it.

Many QVC customers swear by WEN, and some others complained about losing hair and having problems with their scalp after using it for long periods of time.

NPR reported that mediation of the class action suit began in Cali late last year.

Here is the lowdown:

Statement on FDA Investigation of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioners

The FDA is investigating reports of hair loss, hair breakage, balding, itching, and rash associated with the use of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products. While the FDA continues its investigation, consumers should be aware of reactions reported in association with the use of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products.

Consumers who experience a reaction after using WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products should stop using the product and consult with their dermatologist or other health care provider.

The agency also urges consumers to report to FDA any reactions they may have experienced when using these products.

As of July 7, 2016, the FDA had received 127 adverse event reports directly from consumers about WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products, the largest number of reports ever associated with any cosmetic hair cleansing product, including cleansing conditioners.

We also are investigating more than 21,000 complaints reported directly to Chaz Dean, Inc. and Guthy Renker, LLC that we learned of during inspections of manufacturing and distribution facilities.

The FDA has not yet determined a possible cause for the adverse events that have been reported, and today has called on the company to “provide any data that might help us to better understand the reports of hair loss associated with the use of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products.”

The FDA also has reached out to physicians and other health care providers asking them to notify their patients of hair loss and other complaints associated with the use of these products and to report adverse events to the agency.
The FDA will provide additional updates as new information becomes available.

The agency also posted a Q&A about WEN.

The FDA is informing consumers about reports of reactions associated with WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioners. The following information describes what the FDA knows about these products, what we’ve done, what we can do, and what consumers can do if they have a reaction.

What kinds of reactions have people reported to the FDA?
People have primarily reported hair loss, hair breakage, balding, itching, and rash.

How many reports has the FDA received?

Up to July 7, 2016, the FDA has received 127 reports from consumers. When the FDA inspected the manufacturing and distribution facilities for these products, we learned that consumers had reported reactions in more than 21,000 complaints submitted to Chaz Dean, Inc. and Guthy Renker LLC, the companies that market and manufacture the products. The law does not require cosmetic companies to share their safety information, including consumer complaints, with the FDA, nor does the law require mandatory reporting of adverse events to the FDA.

Have these reports named specific varieties?

The reports all mention use of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioners, although some also mention using them along with other WEN products.

The product line includes several varieties of cleansing conditioners. Guthy Renker stated that since 2011, at least 66 percent of all reports specifically about hair loss have named the Sweet Almond Mint variety. The following varieties were named most often in reported reactions:

Sweet Almond Mint- 5,689 complaints
Lavender- 2,537 complaints
Pomegranate – 1,542 complaints

Does the FDA know what caused the reactions?

No. We don’t have enough information to determine the cause of these reactions. As stated above, the law does not require cosmetic companies to share their safety data or consumer complaints with the FDA.

The complaints that have come directly to the FDA have not provided enough information to determine why some consumers experienced reactions when they used these products.

What is the FDA doing about these reports?

On January 17, 2014, the FDA sent separate letters to owners and officials at Chaz Dean and Guthy Renker LLC. In the letter, the FDA asked for the following information:

Data on reports of hair loss and breakage
Manufacturing locations
What the firm had done to find out what caused hair loss and other reported problems
Quality control procedures for evaluating product ingredients
Any formulation changes that may relate to the reports.

The companies responded in writing on February 18, 2014. The responses they provided did not address the association between WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioners and hair loss.

Since receiving the companies’ responses, we have conducted inspections of the manufacturing and distribution sites of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioners, and have had further discussions with the companies about safety data for their products, as well as what steps they have taken to address the complaints they have received. The FDA is in communication with the companies as part of an ongoing investigation.

What should consumers do if they have a reaction?

While the FDA continues this investigation, we are asking physicians and other health care providers to advise their patients about these reports and to contact the FDA if they have patients who have experienced such problems.

Additionally we encourage consumers to be cautious if using WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products, especially if they notice problems such as hair loss, balding, itching, rash or other reactions. If you have a reaction, stop using the product and contact your health care provider. Then, please tell the FDA about the incident.

You can report a reaction online or by phone:

Contact the FDA’s MedWatch reporting system, either online or by phone at 1-800-FDA-1088. Contact your nearest FDA district office consumer complaint coordinator.

When you report your problem to the FDA, please provide as much detail as possible about the specific product you used and your reaction. The more we learn about WEN products and the reported problems, the better we can determine the cause and if the FDA can take action under the laws we enforce.

What kind of action can the FDA take?

The FDA can take action against cosmetics on the market that don’t comply with the law, including cosmetics that are adulterated or misbranded. In some cases we can work with the Department of Justice to seize a product, in order to keep it off the market. While we can’t order a recall of a cosmetic, we can request one and work with companies to make sure their recalls are effective.

However, even with what we know so far about this product, including the adverse events, we are unable to determine that the product does not comply with the law.

Evine Live Chef Todd English Sued Over $270,000 Legal Bill

November 12, 2015

Celebrity chef and Evine Live vendor Todd English is in hot water again.

The New York Post reported Wednesday that English, known for his public womanizing and imbibing, is being sued by a law firm for allegedly not paying his $270,000 legal bill.

English, who once sold his pots and pans on HSN, over the years has been sued several times for allegedly stiffing people how owed money. In the latest lawsuit, the firm Seyfarth Shaw claims the chief has refused to pay it for repping him for Labor Department disputes, bankruptcy and “matters related to English’s La Guardia Airport restaurant Figs from January to December 2013,” the Post wrote.

The tabloid also reported that English ranks No. 129 on New York’s list of those who owe taxes, with the chef owing $715,000.

Hope his cookware is selling well on Evine Live.

HSN Vendor Microderm360’s Kelley West sues partners for fraud

June 21, 2015

Kelley West, who appears on HSN as the spokeswoman for Microderm 360, is not a happy camper. She has stepped down as the rep for the micro-dermabrasion device, and is suing her business partners for fraud and “civil theft.”

West posted her tale of woe on Facebook, along with a link to her lawsuit against Ira Smolens and Mark Presser.

Kelley West and Microderm360

Kelley West and Microderm360

“I am sad to announce that I am the victim of a fraudulent scheme by my former business partners that makes it necessary to cancel all appearances on HSN and resign as a spokesperson for my brand, at least temporarily,” West wrote.

“In late May, 2015 I filed a nine count lawsuit in Florida against my partners that includes claims for fraud and civil theft relating to the micro-dermabrasion machine I invented, the Microderm360.”

Here is the complaint:

Click to access WestComplaint.pdf

West, a licensed medical aesthetician, formed a company with Smolens and his cousin Presser. Since being launched on HSN in 2013, Microderm360 has generated $7.5 million in sales, according to the lawsuit.

West claims that she hasn’t received the royalties that she is due, and that her partners funneled money from her company.

And to add some sex to the litigation, the suit claims that Smolens “was engaged in fraudulent activity, namely a ‘casting call’ scam in which he improperly induced lingerie models into his home in Boca Raton, Fla.” Maybe he wanted to show them his etchings.

Smolens, its seems, also had been sued by the Federal Trade Commission for credit-card fraud, according to West’s lawsuit.

She also charges that Presser has filed a patent application for her machine.

There are also plenty of other allegations in the lawsuit.

“To those of you who have been so loyal to me, thank you for your support!” West wrote on Facebook.

“You’ve bought every product I’ve ever created or endorsed, you’ve followed me from one network to another and I want you to know how much that means to me. My goal has always been to create great skincare devices that actually work and to encourage women (especially those of us over 40!!) to embrace their age and celebrate their beauty. I am so proud of my Microderm360 device and the fact that I can’t sell it makes this situation so difficult.”

A few days later, West had more to say.

“Last year at this time I was so excited about the success of my company and here I am, a year later, fighting these bullies for the machine I created! Wtf?,” she wrote. “My ex business partners threatened me yesterday and demanded that I stop posting about my lawsuit. They stole my patent, funneled all the revenue through their company not mine, lied to me over and over and they’re now making demands that I stop posting on my social media??”

And we love her response to their demand.

“I’m reposting the lawsuit and I’m going to continue reposting every freaking day!” West wrote. “Ira Smolens/Smolev/Molens (name changes) and Mark Presser, you can both kiss my ass. God bless and have a great day, everyone!”


We wish you luck with your lawsuit, girlfriend!

Jewelry Designer Judith Ripka Named In Sex-Swap Suit

January 4, 2015

This is a juicy way to start off the New Year, and who’d have thunk it would involve upscale jewelry designer, and QVC vendor, Judith Ripka.

Celebrity stylist, ex-HSN vendor, old soul and often-hilarious Waynescot Lukas (a Jersey boy) had always lamented that the rich hate to pay their bills. This is the gorgeous man with the gorgeous mane who helps make Christie Brinkley gorgeous with his wardrobe selections for her.

Judith Ripka

Judith Ripka

Anyway, Ripka has been accused of just what Wayne talks about. Interior decorator Tristan Harstan, who designed Ripka’s Madison Avenue shop, is suing her, claiming she wanted him to give away his goodies so she could get free goodies for one of her luxurious dwellings, according to the New York Daily News.

Harstan alleges that Ripka told him to have sex with upscale furniture designer Nancy Corzine, apparently so she could get furnishings for her Palm Beach home, the News reported.

Ripka often swaps pieces from her high-end, non-QVC jewelry line for “goods and services,” the suit says, and that in fact she has given Corzine $3.4 million worth of baubles for furniture, fabric and lighting since 2005.

Harstan would not put out for Corzine, telling Ripka he wasn’t “a male prostitute,” according to the lawsuit.

The interior designer also charges that Ripka owes him more than $105,000 in salary.

Ripka sold her company for $22.5 million last April to Xcel Brands Inc., which owns the Isaac Mizrahi(another QVC vendor) brand and has an interest in the Liz Claiborne New York brand.

“This is an outstanding opportunity to cultivate our brand and reach our loyal followers in a new way,” Ripka, who served as the brand’s Chief Designer, said at the time. “We deeply value our relationship with Robert D’Loren and look forward to joining him at Xcel. I’m thrilled to be part of the Company and believe that we are well positioned for the future.”

According to the press release about the deal, “Judith Ripka Brand’s existing product lines are sold by independent jewelers in the U.S., abroad and online, as well as on QVC under the ‘Judith Ripka Sterling’ brand. Judith Ripka Brand is currently distributed in over 200 stores in the U.S. and generates approximately $140 million in retail sales.”

Former HSN Jewelers Loree Rodkin And Gastineau Girls In Suit

February 26, 2014

Two former HSN jewelry vendors are involved in some nasty litigation.

Gothish rock-star jewelry designer Loree Rodkin, whose pricey baubles we adore, has filed suit against reality TV stars Lisa and Brittny Gastineau, the former wife and daughter of ex-New York Jets player Mark Gastineau, according to JCK online and TMZ.

Rodkin, who had done jewelry for folks ranging from Steven Tyler to First Lady Michelle Obama, alleges that the Gastineau gals copied some of her pieces. And Rodkin apparently doesn’t believe that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

A while back Rodkin and the Gastineaus were both doing jewelry collections for HSN. But let us make this very clear: Rodkin’s lawsuit, filed in Cali, doesn’t involve the Gastineau’s HSN line.

The suit cites the Gastineaus’ Tres Glam collection, which is sold at Roseark retail stores.

The Gastineau girls denied that they are violating Rodkin’s copyrights. She thinks differently.