Television talk-show host and medical marijuana activist Montel Williams is suing several Arizona-based companies for wrongly using his name and image in alleged CBD scams.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, alleges that at least three companies were involved in an “elaborate online scheme” that involved misleadingly using the contents of a Forbes article about Williams and his MMJ-related activism. The suit also targets unidentified affiliates of the companies that operate as distributors for the defendants in the case.
Using content on “sham websites” that misappropriated Williams’ name and likeness, the defendants falsely claimed he endorsed their CBD products, according to a news release from Williams and his representatives.
The defendants include Arizona-based Advanceable Technology, Beauty Strong and Snowflake Marketing as well as Timothy Isaac, who allegedly is associated with the three companies.
According to the lawsuit, the defendants asked consumers to sign up for a “free trial.” But rather than receiving free products, consumers were locked into an “automatic monthly credit card billing scheme without clear options to cancel,” the suit alleges.
The suit also claims it’s “unclear whether any of the products marketed by the defendants were legitimate CBD oils.”
Williams is seeking “injunctive relief; damages, including exemplary and punitive damages,” according to the lawsuit, as well as public statement by the defendants that Williams has never been associated with the defendants.