Montel Williams and Montel Williams Enterprises Inc. are suing three Arizona-based CBD-marketing entities and one Scottsdale resident, Timothy K. Isaac, over their claims that the former talk show host endorsed their CBD products. The lawsuit claims that the defendants repurposed contents of a Forbes article on websites and social media, misappropriating Williams’ name and likeness, to dupe consumers.
Jonathan Franks, spokesperson for Williams, said that the scam is “anything but victimless” and the companies “prey on vulnerable consumers, many of whom have chronic illnesses or other disabilities.”
“As explained in the Complaint, we heard from elderly customers and veterans on fixed incomes who incurred unexpected overdraft fees as a result of these scams,” Franks said in a press release.
The websites claimed that consumers were signing up for free trials of the product; however, customers were then locked into an automatic credit card billing scheme with no clear way to cancel. According to complaint documents, some of the CBD products duplicitously marketed using Williams’ name include Pure Isolate CBD, Pure Natural CBD, Revive CBD Oil, Hemptif CBD, TrueMed Hemp oil, Sky CBD, and Assured CBD Oil.
“Simply put, as the Complaint sets forth, the network of shadowy corporate entities we believe are involved in these scams, one of which was named ‘Secrets of ISIS’ for some time, sought to deceptively use Mr. Williams’ credibility in the medical cannabis space against vulnerable consumers without regard for the consequences,” Franks said. “This wasn’t a mistake. As alleged in the Complaint, this was the deliberate theft of Mr. Williams’ name and reputation to weaponize it against sick people, and this lawsuit isn’t about lining Mr. Williams’ pockets, it’s about holding the perpetrators of these scams accountable and to stop them from continuing to deceive consumers.”