‘Shark Tank’ star and celebrity investor Daymond John has been granted temporary restraining orders against three former contestants he went into business with through the show after repeatedly bullying him on social media over their alleged ‘nightmare’ experience, according to court documents.
Under Friday’s order in federal court in New Jersey, former NFL defensive end Al “Bubba” Baker, his wife Sabrina and daughter Brittani are now prohibited from speaking publicly about their experience with John following their 2014 appearance on the ABC reality show.
The bakers – who created Bubba’s Q boneless back ribs – must also remove ‘derogatory’ social media posts where they detailed their business relationship with the celebrity investor and accused him of trying to take over their entity, the ruling states.
“Any messages from the Bakers are negative, disparaging, or both, and could certainly impact the reputation, goodwill, and credibility of DFV and John,” U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler wrote in his ruling, referring to the DF Ventures entity John created to do business with the family.
“These posts have clearly damaged the reputation that John will now have to manage and counter.”
The lawsuit against the Bakers came after the alleged family of the Los Angeles Time earlier this year, John and his associates had misled them, tried to take over their business and deprived them of profits as a result of the show.
The Bakers, who appeared in season five of “Shark Tank,” had accepted an on-air offer from John for a $300,000 investment for 30% of their boneless rib business.
They claimed the offer was later revised off-air to $100,000 for a larger 35% stake.
In a slew of social media posts, the family took aim at John and accused him, in part, of being a dodgy businessman.
The judge questioned the Bakers’ motives, writing in his decision that the court could only conclude that the family was not doing this “to try to better the business.”
“Instead, the Bakers’ enmity, antipathy, and animosity toward John, DFV, and the Rastellis overcame their personal financial interest and ability to reasonably resolve their issues with John, DFV, and the Rastellis,” Kugler wrote.
Rastelli Foods Group is the meat manufacturer the bakers had selected to do business with them and John.
“Today’s decision against the bakers, their business and their misrepresentations is a moment of vindication,” John said in a statement.
“The actual facts, the record and the opinion of the federal judge confirmed that I did not – and could not have – committed any wrongdoing. I have always stood for transparency and honesty throughout my entrepreneurial journey.
“I am grateful for the support I have received during this time and will continue to uphold my reputation with the same passion I bring to empowering my fellow entrepreneurs.”
The ruling makes permanent a temporary restraining order against the bakers that was granted by the judge last month.