Former action star allegedly flaked on endorsement deal, then disparaged the company on his reality series
The Muscles from Brussels is once again preparing to tussle. But this time the battle will take place in a courtroom.
Marketing company Thane International filed suit against Jean-Claude Van Damme on Monday, claiming that he'd caused them to lose a bundle when he reneged on his agreement to film an infomercial for its Total Flex home gym — and worse, disparaged the product on his reality series, "Jean-Claude Van Damme: Behind Closed Doors."
According to the suit, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Van Damme agreed to film an endorsement for Total Flex last year but, when the time came, the actor refused to do so and, worse, made the company look incompetent. The suit — which alleges breach of contract, willful misrepresentation and negligent misrepresentation — says that, when Thames showed up to film the infomercial in February, Van Damme had failed to look at the script and failed to try out the machine beforehand, despite being provided with a unit by the company. The suit goes on to claim that Van Damme was unable to recite his lines, didn't know how to use the equipment, and "appeared erratic and chaotic."
Ultimately, the suit says, Van Damme refused to do the commercial –and worse, turned to the camera that was rolling for his reality series and "gave an impassioned speech about how he cannot let 'his people' down by endorsing a product he thinks is no good."
Thane claims that, between air fare, renting the hotel suite and other expenses, they've incurred "at least $25.2 million in damages." The company is suing for compensatory damages, plus interest, court costs, attorneys' fees and "punitive damages in an amount according to proof at a trial."
A call to Van Damme's representative for comment was not immediately returned.
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