Jennifer Love Hewitt has filed a lawsuit against a company that was featured on Shark Tank, claiming that it used her likeness to promote a weight loss product without her permission.
The complaint, that was filed Wednesday with the Superior Court of Los Angeles, claims that The Marz Group LLC. has violated Hewitt's public image by using her photograph since March 2014 to endorse Slim Spray, a line of oral weight loss supplements, energy boosters and sleep aids.
Read the full complaint here.
"A large portion of the Defendant's marketing campaign hinges on the exploitation of celebrities," according to the lawsuit.
The actress' attorneys sent a cease and desist letter March 17 to the company, which responded claiming that it manufactures products to third parties who were instructed to stop using Hewitt's image. However, a promotional spam email of the Defendant's products was then received May 7.
Hewitt is now seeking judicial intervention to protect her rights and to stop the unauthorized use of her photographs and likeness, claiming the controversy exceeds $25,000.
The lawsuit points out that when the company appeared on ABC's Shark Tank, one of the investor hosts said: "But you realize how stupid this sounds, right? It's a scam…I mean it's a hustle."
Unfazed by the negative reviews of the product, "the Defendant attempted to gain household recognition by exploiting the fame of Hollywood celebrities," according to the complaint.
Hewitt is seeking an award of actual damages to be proven at time of trial, an award of restitution, injunction relief barring the Defendant from continuing unlawful activity, plus attorney's fees and litigation costs.
Marz Sprays' products were featured in season four of Shark Tank, in an episode that aired in June 2013.
Hewitt is represented by Alex M. Weingarten and Leslie A. Eggers of Weingarten Brown LLP.
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to the defendant for comment.
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- Jennifer Love Hewitt
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