Real Housewives of Orange County television personality Shannon Storms Beador filed court papers against Facebook Inc. Thursday, alleging that sellers of diet supplements were posting her image on the platform and on Instagram without her permission, misleading consumers into believing she endorsed the products.
The still-unofficial Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Facebook and unnamed “Doe” defendants for alleged violations of the state Business and Professions Code.
A Facebook representative could not be immediately reached. Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012.
Beador found out from a third party in May that the ads were placed on Facebook and Instagram and subsequently determined that 15 sellers were using her name, image and likeness to sell the diet supplements without her knowledge, including one vendor and Facebook account holder that used the name “Remy Zagorski,” the court papers state.
Many consumers who thought they were buying supplements endorsed by Beador and later learned that was not the case, responded by posting negative comments about the plaintiff, even though she received no money and was not involved with marketing the items, according to the court papers, which describes the supplements as “fraudulent products.”
Beador has suffered a degradation of her business goodwill, her right of publicity, her ability to endorse authentic products and “ultimately her livelihood, thus undermining plaintiff’s entire career,” the court papers state.