When slimming product Trimspa did a deal for its spokesperson, buxom former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith to appear on the US stage of Julys Live music event, the deal on her appearance was unclear. Now Live 8 is suing over Ms Smiths scanty pink vest and allegedly intoxicated behaviour.
Anna Nicole Smith, Trimspa Inc and Live 8 Productions LLC
US District Court of the central district of California Western Division
Live 8 charity concert organiser Live 8 Productions LLC filed suit in California against diet supplement maker Trimspa Inc, claiming more than $500,000 in compensatory damages.
The basis of the complaint was the appearance, by arrangement between Live 8 and Trimspa, of Trimspa's spokesperson and former Playboy model turned TV personality, Anna Nicole Smith.
The deal was that Trimspa would pay Live 8 $320,000 in exchange for four 30 second commercial spots on the ABC network broadcasting Live 8 concerts and one 5 second billboard to promote its weight loss drug "Trimspa". Live 8 also agreed that Trimspa spokesperson Anna Nicole Smith could be "on camera" as part of the ABC broadcast of the Live 8 concerts.
The claimants state in their suit (available at the time of writing at www.thesmokinggun.com) that they performed their side of the bargain, whilst Trimspa woefully failed to do their bit.
Not only did Trimspa fail to pay for the TV spots, it is alleged, but they also allegedly failed to ensure that the remarkably embonpointed Ms Smith carried out instructions to dress "in an appropriate fashion for a charitable event."
"Intoxicated" and "scantily clad" allegations
Live 8 Productions alleged that when she appeared on screen Ms Smith was scantily clad in revealing attire "completely inappropriate for a broadcast that would be seen by millions of people in the US and then re-broadcast throughout the world", sporting a shiny pink vest held together by string. Not only this, but Live 8 Productions alleged that Ms Smith was "intoxicated" at the time.
Ms Smith's attorney Howard Stern is quoted as denying that she was intoxicated and stating that the events organisers had in fact approved her outfit.
Live 8 Productions are also claiming unspecified punitive and exemplary damages.
Why this matters:
It is clear from the law suit as filed that although Live 8 concluded a written "sponsorship co-ordination agency agreement" with a Californian marketing agency called Winnaman and Associates whereby Live 8 retained Winnaman to obtain sponsors on behalf of Live 8 for the concerts. However it does not appear that Winnaman or Live 8 concluded a clear written agreement with Trimspa governing the arrangements now in dispute.
In the Court documents, therefore, Live 8 asserts that due to her penchant for dressing in extremely revealing attire, Ms Smith was instructed to dress in an appropriate fashion for a charitable event.
Clearly it is not satisfactory for Trimspa to be on the wrong end of this suit and it remains to be seen as to whether they will join Ms Smith to the proceedings on the basis of any alleged breach of whatever written contract might be in place between Ms Smith and Trimspa.
On the other hand, Trimspa might take the view that Ms Smith's controversial appearance and the still more controversial law suit that is now ensuing are not a bad way of giving their product further international profile.
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