ABC’s long-running reality series Shark Tank entertains the masses by turning the American Dream into a one-size fits all sales pitch. Its formula is simple: inventors from all types of industries stand in front of a panel of uber-influential business types, begging them to take a chance on funding their unique start-ups. The “sharks,” names like real estate tycoon Barbara Corcoran and billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, make promises — of funds, fame, and fortune — in exchange for a percentage of the profits.
Unfortunately for ex-NFL player and boneless BBQ maker Al “Bubba” Baker, no one warned him about the lawsuits and restraining orders that can come once the deal is made.
According to an investigation by the LA Times and a recent People report, Shark Tank celebrity Daymond John is seeking a temporary restraining order against Baker after their joint business went bust. John, who’s made some stellar deals during the series’ run, including his investment in the mission-focused sock company, Bombas, has been accused by the Baker family of negotiating in bad faith and causing their Bubba Q’s Boneless Baby Back Ribs company to fail. The Bakers told the Times that John, along with his personal lawyer, food supplier Rastelli Foods Group, and previous Shark Tank contestant Nate Holzapfel (who’s awaiting trial on 15 felony criminal charges), pushed them out of the family business, taking their profits and revising deal terms behind their backs.
The family says they’ve only seen about 4% of the business’s stated $16 million in profits since their Shark Tank episode aired, accusing John and company of restricting their access to bank accounts and refusing to be transparent about the financial terms of partnerships with chains like Hardees and Carl’s Jr. Though this isn’t the first lawsuit John has fielded — or the only Shark Tank investment he’s been accused of undermining — the star claimed the reporting from the LA Times was “flawed,” filled with disparaging comments that lead him to seek the restraining order.
“After repeated attempts to give the Baker’s the ability to correct their violations. It is unfortunate that it has come to this,” Daymond’s spokesperson, Zach Rosenfield told People. “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.”
(Via LA Times)