The Baker family is banned from speaking disparagingly about their experience partnering with John in the Bubba’s Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs business
Shark Tank’s Daymond John has been granted a permanent restraining order against three former contestants he invested in after they appeared on the show. John claims the three have repeatedly verbally attacked him on social media, calling their experience with him a “nightmare,” court documents say.
Those named in the order out of the New Jersey Federal court on Friday are ex-NFL defensive end Al “Bubba” Baker, his wife Sabrina and his daughter Brittani, who are now banned from speaking out in any public forum about their interaction with John after their 2014 appearance on the ABC series to pitch Bubba’s Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs to the sharks.
The ruling also ordered the Bakers to scrub their social media of “disparaging” comments on posts in which they detailed their dealings with John and accused him of trying to take over their ribs business. They also must delete similar posts about Rastelli Foods Group, the manufacturer retained to produce ribs and that is a partner with the Bakers and John in the venture.
“All the Bakers’ posts are negative, disparaging or both, and certainly could impact DFV’s and John’s reputation, goodwill and credibility,” U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler wrote in his order, referring to DF Ventures, which John set up to work with the family. “These posts clearly caused reputational harm that John will now have to deal with and counter.”
In the initial temporary restraining order issued earlier this year, Kugler said that the Bakers breached a 2019 agreement in which they agreed to not disparage John and Rastelli. With the order he issued Friday, Kugler found that the Bakers had “breached” that settlement agreement’s non-disparagement clause and, therefore, ruled to “forever bar” them from further violations.
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John testified in his court filing that the Bakers’ comments resulted in “a major television network” canceling a show he was involved with that had been “previously greenlit” and that he lost “a speaking engagement and a ‘major brand’ he was meant to do an activation with stopped all discussions with him while the defendants put out their posts.”
“Today’s decision against the Bakers, their company and their false statements is a moment of vindication,” John said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “The actual facts, the record and the federal Judge’s opinion have confirmed that I did not — and could not have — committed any wrongdoing. I have always upheld transparency and honesty throughout my journey as an entrepreneur.”
In June, when John filed for a temporary restraining order against the Bakers, his spokesperson Zach Rosenfield told PEOPLE in a statement that John was taking action over their alleged efforts "to undermine a business partnership and the legal parameters they agreed to four years ago."
“After repeated attempts to give the Bakers the ability to correct their violations. It is unfortunate that it has come to this," Rosenfield claimed in the statement.
"This temporary restraining order is due to the Bakers' blatant actions to undermine a business partnership and the legal parameters they agreed to four years ago. Their belief that they can unwind poor business decisions through slanderous social media posts and articles will no longer be tolerated.”
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