Celebrity hashish advocate Montel Williams introduced on Wednesday that he has reached a settlement in a lawsuit towards an organization that allegedly used his identify and likeness to promote CBD oil with out permission. Under the phrases of the settlement, Timothy Isaac of Arizona and numerous entities he owns or is related to have agreed to chorus from ever utilizing Williams’ identify, picture, or likeness in its promoting once more. Williams has been an outspoken supporter of medical marijuana and can be a keynote speaker at subsequent week’s Cannabis Science Conference in Baltimore.
“We are very pleased that our clients Mr. Williams and Montel Williams Enterprises were able to amicably resolve this litigation with the named defendants,” lead lawyer within the lawsuit Marc Rachman stated in a press launch. “It is always a challenge to determine who is behind false celebrity endorsements online, but we believe we were successful in ferreting out many of the parties that were involved in the unauthorized use of Mr. Williams’ name and likeness. ”
Seniors and Vets Scammed
Jonathan Franks, a spokesman for Williams, informed High Times that after the superstar introduced the launch of his hashish model Lenitiv in 2017, scammers started promoting their merchandise as in the event that they have been Williams’ merchandise or endorsed by him. Articles about his firm revealed by retailers akin to Forbes and ABC had been altered and republished on-line with hyperlinks that directed to shady e-commerce websites. Once a buyer determined to attempt the merchandise presupposed to be endorsed by Williams, they might find yourself being scammed.
“They would sign them up for trials and then lock them into expensive credit card rebilling arrangements where there was really no way to cancel,” Franks stated of the defendants.
The unauthorized expenses brought about overdraft charges for some shoppers and led at the least one to vary financial institution accounts. Franks stated that Lenitiv began getting complaints from shoppers who thought that they had bought merchandise from the corporate however as an alternative obtained scammed.
“It’s upsetting to hear from senior citizens or veterans or people who are sick who fell for this and got taken for a ride,” he stated. “This was not a harmless money-making scheme. They were hurting real people.”
Franks declined to disclose any monetary phrases of the deal, saying “that part of the settlement is confidential.” He did say, nevertheless, that any potential financial compensation was far outweighed by the prices of the authorized motion. Profit, based on Franks, was by no means the aim for Williams.
“I would call this an operation to take back his name in the cannabis space from people that had no right and no business to use it in the first place,” he stated.
“Montel’s not the only celebrity that has been targeted by this type of shady marketing activities,” he added. “They’re often ignored because they’re difficult and expensive to address.”
Franks famous that different corporations apart from the defendants within the lawsuit had additionally been stopped after utilizing Williams’ identify and likeness of their advertising.
“The lawsuit was part of a larger, ongoing effort to hold accountable numerous individuals and entities, who through the use of affiliate network marketing, flooded the internet with false endorsements using Mr. Williams’ name and likeness to deceive consumers into buying CBD products,” he stated within the press launch. “Thus far, we have settled with several other marketers unrelated to Mr. Isaac who engaged in similar conduct and our ongoing investigation may well result in further legal actions.”
Sorry, Not Sorry?
The defendant denied any wrongdoing in a press release offered to High Times by Franks’ pursuant to phrases of the settlement.
“I and my companies never sanctioned the use of Montel Williams’ name or image in the marketing of our CBD oil products,” Isaac stated. “We are truly sorry to Mr. Williams and anyone who purchased our CBD Oil products if they were misled into believing that Mr. Williams had endorsed or was otherwise affiliated with these products. I used affiliate networks and affiliate publishers to promote my products and several of them apparently used Mr. Williams’ name and image without permission, although I did not direct them to do so.”