Kirstie Alley has been hit with a lawsuit over her weight loss claims.
When the "Fat Actress" star, whose weight has fluctuated dramatically through the years, dropped 100 pounds around the time of her 2011 appearance on "Dancing With the Stars,” she credited the weight-loss product Organic Liaison — which she endorses — for helping shed the pounds. However, a California woman, who used the product, is now suing the actress, claiming Alley is lying about the way in which she lost the weight, stating it was the 61-year-old's rigorous dancing regime, not the supplement, which helped her get slim.
In the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Marina Abramyan says Alley's Organic Liaison Weight Loss Program makes "false and misleading advertising claims that [the program] can cause significant weight loss." The legal filing specifically calls out the claim on the company's website that quotes Alley as saying, "I am proof of its success, I lost one hundred pounds on Organic Liaison" and "I can assure you that if you follow this program, you'll get healthier, lose weight, and not be 'annoyingly' hungry."
[Related: The big-name TV pilots you'll never see]
Abramyan, who says she "did not experience any of the benefits Defendants advertised," calls Organic Liaison "nothing more than run-of-the-mill fiber and calcium supplements." The suit also notes that "Alley's weight loss is not due to the Organic Liaison Program, but rather, is the result of an above average exercise regimen and extremely low calorie diet, including her time on the television program 'Dancing With the Stars' ('DWTS'), where she spent five to seven hours a day exercising as part of the competition."
The displeased dieter (and any other Organic Liaison users who want to join in on the class-action suit) is asking that the company be prohibited from making its allegedly false claims and seeks monetary damages.
When contacted by Yahoo! TV for comment, Organic Liaison called the claims in the lawsuit "patently false" and vowed to "vigorously defend ourselves against these frivolous claims." Read the company's full statement below.
Since her days on “Cheers,” Alley has been candid about her weight struggle, even capitalizing on it by starring in the TV series "Fat Actress." However, in 2004, she became tired of her constant weight struggle (and nasty tabloid stories) and signed on as the celebrity spokesperson for Jenny Craig. Although she quickly dropped 75 pounds, three years later she regained much of the weight and stepped down from her role with the company. By 2009, she was up to 230 pounds when she underwent yet another diet overhaul, switching to an all organic diet and following Organic Liaison, which is a combination of supplements and things like journaling about weight loss. On "The View" in June 2011 following her stint on “DWTS,” she detailed the specifics of her weight loss, saying, "I lost 60 pounds before I started 'Dancing With the Stars,' and I lost 30 pounds during it." By that September, her total weight loss total was 100 pounds when the size 6 star told People: "I feel back to normal. I have my game again."
Nearly a year later, Alley appears to have kept most of the weight off this time around. During an appearance at the 2012 Book Expo America in New York City, she looked trim in a black wrap dress with a pink motif.
As for Organic Liaison, this isn’t the first time the company has come under fire. In 2010, critics linked the weight-loss program to Scientology – fellow Scientologist Kelly Preston also endorses the product – connecting it to a Scientology plan called the purification rundown, which is a controversial detoxification program developed by Scientology's founder L. Ron Hubbard. When asked about the connection on the “Today” show, Alley snapped, "Well it's such bullsh-t ... can I say that?" And Alley added that she is “way too cheap” to share any of the company’s profits with the church.
A rep for Organic Liaison issued the following statement to Yahoo! TV: "The claims against Ms. Alley and Organic Liaison are patently false.
"Ms. Alley began her weight loss on the Organic Liaison program in early 2010. Ms. Alley had lost about 70 pounds prior to her participation as a contestant on 'DWTS' in the Spring of 2011. That loss of weight was documented in Ms. Alley's numerous appearances during that time frame on talk shows, numerous magazine articles, and on QVC. Subsequently, during the nearly 3 month period that Ms. Alley competed on 'DWTS,' she lost approximately another 20 pounds.
"Ms. Alley did not reach the 100 pound weight loss milestone on the Organic Liaison program until months after her participation in 'DWTS' had ended. As such, contrary to Abramyan's assertion, it was not several hours a day of vigorous dancing related to 'DWTS' that caused her weight loss; it was her studious adherence to the Organic Liaison Weight Loss Program that caused the loss; that Program contains and requires regular exercise for success. As just mentioned, the Organic Liaison program expressly includes, as a fitness plan, regular, daily exercise as part of its weight-loss program. Organic Liaison even provides consumers with a 'calories burned' chart to track the amount of calories they are burning through regular exercise. Organic Liaison's website promotes rigorous daily exercise such as jumping rope and dancing.
"Ms. Alley participated in 'DWTS' for only a short period of time during her approximately 1 1/2 year participation in the Organic Liaison program; the vast majority of her weight loss had nothing to do with her participation in that show. It is Ms. Alley's persistence over 1 1/2 years on the Organic Liaison program, coupled with regular exercise, that lead to her dramatic weight loss over that time period; this is consistent with Organic Liaison¹s advertising and representations, none of which create false net impressions to the reasonable consumer. Ms. Alley's dramatic weight loss occurred because she stuck with the Program during the entire relevant time frame, losing 1 to 2 pounds per week, which is approximately the rate of loss recommended by the Program for healthy, long term weight loss.
"Organic Liaison is an advanced weight loss system with products which, when taken as directed, do exactly as advertised - help users to lose weight. Rescue Me aids weight loss through an advance formula of over 32 high quality ingredients which reduces cravings for food and appetite. In addition, Organic Liaison products such as Release Me prevent muscle soreness in order to promote regular exercise, necessary to success of the Program, while Organic Liaison's Relieve Me supports colon cleansing, which aids weight loss, prevents fluid retention and bloating. Further, Nightingale, the all-natural liquid formula sleep aide which contains ingredients which enhance relaxation and sleep, while helping to reduce carbohydrate cravings and alleviate muscle pains. Thousands of users have successfully lost weight and made healthy lifestyle changes by following the Organic Liaison program.
"We will vigorously defend ourselves against these frivolous claims."