Foreman Sued For Fraud in Case Involving Line of Steaks
1/27/2006 8:26 PM PT
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- George Foreman could be in for a legal grilling.
A $50 million lawsuit filed Thursday in Superior Court alleges the former boxing champion and an international law firm defrauded a company hired to launch a line of George Foreman teaks.
Foreman will be asked to take the stand when the case comes to trial, Eric Yuhl, an attorney for GreatMeals USA Inc., said Friday.
The suit claims fraud, breach of contract and interference with contract against Foreman, the law firm of Greenberg Traurig LLP and John C. Kirkland, a partner in the firm.
A call to Foreman's attorney at Greenberg Traurig was not immediately returned Friday. A call to Kirkland also was not immediately returned.
The former world heavyweight champion has become a household name for hawking a popular line of grills from Salton Inc. Foreman expanded into lines of clothing and cleaning supplies.
GreatMeals alleges it was hired in 2003 by Omaha, Neb.-based George Foreman Foods Inc. to create a Web site for the steaks and to handle sales through the Internet, catalogs and cable shopping networks.
The Washington, D.C.-based company alleges it spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, reached a $37 million licensing deal with the Home Shopping Network and had a catalog ready to launch when the deal collapsed because Foreman refused to do any promotions.
"He had soured on the deal based on, we believe, misinformation provided by his lawyers," Yuhl said.
George Foreman Foods filed for bankruptcy in November 2003.
Foreman, who had a profit-sharing deal as a spokesman, has sued the company's president. In court filings, Foreman contended the company introduced products under his name that he didn't approve.