In what has to be one of the stranger public lawsuits in recent memory involving a big-name athlete, Wayne Gretzky is being sued for $10 million for allegedly lying about losing weight by chewing gum.
According to court documents filed in Los Angeles and obtained by TMZ, plaintiff Steven Sparks, who claims to have created a "natural gum used to manage weight" called "OMG gum," alleges in the lawsuit that he hired Wayne's wife, Janet, to promote his product.
Sparks claims, however, that things started going downhill after Wayne made up a lie about the product Janet was paid to promote — saying he lost 35 pounds in two months from chewing the gum. Sparks believes Wayne made up the lie to help boost the company's stock, which Gretzky "surreptitiously purchased under his family's name," per TMZ.
Sparks says he then invested additional money and resources into the company not knowing Wayne was lying. But, when Wayne apparently admitted to fabricating his results from the gum, the company's stock tanked and Sparks was left with millions in losses.
According to the legal documents, BuChew — which was created to market and distribute OMG gum — hired Janet Gretzky in 2017 as a spokesperson of BuChew’s products.
The lawsuit claims Janet summoned Wayne to help and "promised [Wayne] would personally use and endorse OMG gum."
In 2018, Gretzky allegedly claimed he "chewed multiple pieces" of OMG gum on a daily basis and that he "loved" how it tasted before saying he dropped "35 pounds in six to eight weeks" while using the product.
Then, according to the lawsuit: “on or about February 20, 2020, Defendant stated to Plaintiff that he ‘really did not lose 35 pounds.’ This admission was not repeated to those investors who had invested expressly based upon their belief in ‘OMG gum’ because it had been endorsed by the ‘Great One.’”
Sparks also alleges that Wayne and Janet colluded to remove him from BuChew while ordering the company's new bosses to stop using the former NHL player’s image or name to promote the product.
As part of the lawsuit, Sparks is asking for $500,000 in attorney fees to be paid by Gretzky — with 10 percent interest.
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