Dallas Bodybuilder Sues TV's Pat Robertson for Unauthorized Use of Weight-Loss Photographs

Was Promotion of 'Pat's Diet Shake' a Commercial Venture?



20 Sep, 2005, 01:00 ET from Davis Munck, P.C.

    DALLAS, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The following press release was issued
 today by Davis Munck, P.C.:
     A professional bodybuilder is suing television evangelist Pat Robertson
 and others over Robertson's improper use of photographs showing the
 bodybuilder's dramatic weight loss.
     Through diet and exercise, including the use of a diet shake recipe
 promoted on Robertson's TV program, "The 700 Club," bodybuilder Phil Busch
 lost 200 pounds in 15 months.  Busch is a natural bodybuilder who lost the
 weight and gained muscle without using drugs or steroids.  He sent pictures
 showing his body's transformation to the show's producers and agreed they
 could be televised because he hoped to inspire others.  He also allowed "The
 700 Club" to use the photographs to promote Robertson's "Weight Loss
 Challenge."
     Weeks later, Busch discovered Robertson was selling "Pat's Diet Shake" for
 profit through General Nutrition Center stores (GNC).  When Busch realized his
 images had been used to promote a commercial product, rather than to inspire
 people to lose weight, he approached Robertson's Christian Broadcasting
 Network (CBN) and asked for compensation, but was turned down flat.
     "This was never about weight loss; it was all about money," Busch says.
 "They only had my photographs because I thought 'The 700 Club' was trying to
 help others and because I knew CBN was a non-profit.  Had I known Robertson
 and his corporate buddies were making money using my pictures, I would have
 handled everything differently."
     Attorney Jim Davis of Davis Munck, P.C., in Dallas, represents Busch in
 his claims against Robertson, CBN and GNC.  Davis says he wants to know why a
 non-profit such as CBN would promote Robertson's commercial product.
     "Pat Robertson should not have used Phil's photographs to make money for
 himself and GNC without offering some compensation," Davis says.  "In
 addition, if I were someone who had sent money to Pat Robertson, I'd be very
 concerned about the blurring of the lines between CBN's charitable mission as
 a non-profit corporation and a Robertson commercial venture with GNC.  It
 seems pretty clear to me that Robertson and his commercial partners, GNC and
 Basic Organics, have received private benefit from the ongoing promotion of
 Robertson's diet shake on 'The 700 Club.'"
     The suit was filed in the 95th Judicial District Court in Dallas County,
 Texas.
     Davis Munck, P.C., is a Dallas-based law firm that represents clients from
 start-ups to Fortune 100 companies in high-stakes commercial litigation,
 corporate transactions and business formation, employment and intellectual
 property law.
 
     For more information on the lawsuit against Pat Robertson, please contact
 Mark Annick at 800-559-4534, pager 214-967-2299, or mark@legalpr.com .
 
 

SOURCE Davis Munck, P.C.
    DALLAS, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The following press release was issued
 today by Davis Munck, P.C.:
     A professional bodybuilder is suing television evangelist Pat Robertson
 and others over Robertson's improper use of photographs showing the
 bodybuilder's dramatic weight loss.
     Through diet and exercise, including the use of a diet shake recipe
 promoted on Robertson's TV program, "The 700 Club," bodybuilder Phil Busch
 lost 200 pounds in 15 months.  Busch is a natural bodybuilder who lost the
 weight and gained muscle without using drugs or steroids.  He sent pictures
 showing his body's transformation to the show's producers and agreed they
 could be televised because he hoped to inspire others.  He also allowed "The
 700 Club" to use the photographs to promote Robertson's "Weight Loss
 Challenge."
     Weeks later, Busch discovered Robertson was selling "Pat's Diet Shake" for
 profit through General Nutrition Center stores (GNC).  When Busch realized his
 images had been used to promote a commercial product, rather than to inspire
 people to lose weight, he approached Robertson's Christian Broadcasting
 Network (CBN) and asked for compensation, but was turned down flat.
     "This was never about weight loss; it was all about money," Busch says.
 "They only had my photographs because I thought 'The 700 Club' was trying to
 help others and because I knew CBN was a non-profit.  Had I known Robertson
 and his corporate buddies were making money using my pictures, I would have
 handled everything differently."
     Attorney Jim Davis of Davis Munck, P.C., in Dallas, represents Busch in
 his claims against Robertson, CBN and GNC.  Davis says he wants to know why a
 non-profit such as CBN would promote Robertson's commercial product.
     "Pat Robertson should not have used Phil's photographs to make money for
 himself and GNC without offering some compensation," Davis says.  "In
 addition, if I were someone who had sent money to Pat Robertson, I'd be very
 concerned about the blurring of the lines between CBN's charitable mission as
 a non-profit corporation and a Robertson commercial venture with GNC.  It
 seems pretty clear to me that Robertson and his commercial partners, GNC and
 Basic Organics, have received private benefit from the ongoing promotion of
 Robertson's diet shake on 'The 700 Club.'"
     The suit was filed in the 95th Judicial District Court in Dallas County,
 Texas.
     Davis Munck, P.C., is a Dallas-based law firm that represents clients from
 start-ups to Fortune 100 companies in high-stakes commercial litigation,
 corporate transactions and business formation, employment and intellectual
 property law.
 
     For more information on the lawsuit against Pat Robertson, please contact
 Mark Annick at 800-559-4534, pager 214-967-2299, or mark@legalpr.com .
 
 SOURCE  Davis Munck, P.C.

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