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15 Celebrity Endorsements Gone Horribly Wrong

Having a famous person huck your product isn't always win-win.

Posted on May 24, 2013, at 8:23 a.m. ET

1. Charlize Theron vs. Raymond Weil Watches

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Raymond Weil paid Charlize Theron to wear only his watches for two years. During this time, Theron also had a contract with Dior perfume, and was seen at an event wearing a Dior watch. Additionally, Theron wore other jewelry in an ad for charity, something that was also forbidden in her Weil watch deal.

Weil sued, but in 2008, they settled out of court.

2. Jean-Claude Van Damme vs. Total Flex Home Gym

Laurent Dubrule / Reuters

The Muscles from Brussels agreed to shoot a commercial for Total Flex home gym equipment, but when he showed up to the set, he alledgely hadn't learned his lines or how to use the equipment.

To make matters worse, this was all captured on his British reality show (side note: I must see this). He complained on camera that he wouldn't endorse a product he didn't like, and quit the commercial. Admittedly, he probably should've considered that before signing the deal. He was sued for breach of contract to the tune of $25.2 million.

3. Teri Hatcher vs. Hydroderm Skin Care

Angela Weiss / Getty Images

This is a case where the celebrity struck back and won. Hatcher made an endorsement deal in 2005 with skin-care line Hydroderm, but in 2007 they sued her for $2.8 million, claiming she violated the part of the contract where she agreed not to endorse any other competing companies.

Hatcher denied that she breached the deal and countersued them for claiming she had. Her legal representative said the case was an "unjustified and public assault on Teri Hatcher's good name, reputation, and celebrity."

In 2008, she won her case and Hydroderm had to publicly apologize.

4. Paris Hilton vs. Hairtech International, Inc.

Fernando Vergara / AP

The socialite took $3.5 million to endorse a certain brand of hair extensions, but then allegedly wore a competitor's extensions. She missed the brand's big 2007 launch party since it occurred during her brief jail stint.

Hairtech International, Inc. sued her for $35 million, but a judge dismissed the case.

5. Zooey Deschanel vs. Steve Madden

Danny Moloshok / Reuters

The New Girl star sued shoe company Steve Madden, claiming they never paid up on an oral agreement for an endorsement deal where they would put out a line of "Zooey shoes and accessories."

To make matters worse, Candie's, a brand owned by Madden, released a shoe called the "Zooey," which Deschanel claimed infringed on her publicity rights.

Deschanel was suing for $1.2 million but dropped the lawsuit in January 2012.

6. Snooki vs. SRG Ventures

Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

Snooki made a deal with SRG Ventures to bring in new branding partnerships. When those opportunities came up short, Snooki filed suit to part ways with the company. They countersued her, claiming breach of contract.

In 2011 her lawyer wrote, "Ms. Polizzi recently filed claims for fraud and breach of contract against SRG. The court papers allege that SRG lied about their connections in the industry and failed to secure licensing agreements in accordance with the parties' written contract. We intend to litigate this case aggressively — SRG's attempt to take advantage of Ms. Polizzi will not be tolerated."

7. Britney Spears vs. Brand Sense Partners

Michael Kovac / Getty Images

Brand Sense was supposed to broker the deal for Britney Spears to make an Elizabeth Arden perfume ("Radiance"), but they claimed that Brit's dad and business manager, Jamie Spears, went behind their back to cut them out of the deal, depriving them of their commission. Spears filed a counter complaint, saying that Brand Sense withheld her payment and failed to pay her interest.

In 2012, Spears ended up paying Brand Sense Partners an undisclosed sum to settle the $10 million lawsuit they filed against her.

8. The Kardashians vs. Pre-Paid Debit "Kardashian Kard"

Danny Moloshok / Reuters

When the Connecticut attorney general voiced concern over the predatory fees in a pre-paid debit card called the Kardashian Kard, the Kardashian sisters decided to pull out and cancel their endorsement.

Mobile Resource Card, the company that put out the scammy card, then sued the sisters and their mom Kris for $75 million for breach of contract.

9. Jessica Simpson vs. Her Own Clothing Line

Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

Jessica Simpson partnered with The Tarrant Apparel Group to create the low-priced JS by Jessica Simpson and Princy jeans and apparel collections. However, Jessica allegedly refused to actually wear the cheap clothes on red carpets and in other public appearances.

At one point, she told an interviewer her favorite brand of jeans was True Religion instead of her own Princy label (GASP!).

Tarrant sued for $100 million. The suit was settled, and Tarrant gave up the license. Simpson's apparel empire went on to make an estimated $750 million in retail sales in 2010.

10. Thalia vs. Pharmaceutical Company Genomma Lab International

Gustavo Caballero / Getty Images

Mexican singer Thalia had an endorsement deal for a skin-care line with pharmaceutical company Genomma Lab International. The company dropped her, saying her pregnancy violated their contract. According to Jezebel, reports on what exactly the pregnancy had to do with the contract was hazy — either she missed engagements or the image of a pregnant woman didn't fit in with their tagline of "feel 17 again."

11. Beyoncé vs. Gate Five Video Games


Beyoncé and Gate Five entered a deal to create a video game titled "Superstar: Beyoncé." But Beyoncé dropped out in 2010 allegedly because the company failed to get financing by a certain deadline.

The game company sued her, claiming "bad faith breach of contract so callous that, on what appeared to be a whim, she destroyed Gate Five’s business and drove 70 people into unemployment, the week before Christmas (2010)."

In November 2012, a judge denied Beyoncé's second attempt to dismiss the $100 million suit against her. The case is still pending.

12. Rashard Mendenhall vs. Hanes

Tom Pennington / Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steeler's Rashard Mendenhall was fired from his endorsement deal with Champion Sportswear (owned by Hanesbrands, Inc.) after making controversial tweets.

When Osama bin Laden was killed, he tweeted, "What kind of person celebrates death? It's amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We've only heard one side..." And in regard to 9/11, he tweeted: "We'll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style."

Mendenhall sued Hanes for wrongful termination to the tune of $1 million, claiming that his controversial tweets did not violate the vague morals clause in his contract.

The case was settled before a court ruling in January 2013.

13. Katy Perry vs. British Hair-Care Company Good Hair Day

Jordan Strauss / AP

Katy Perry got $4.5 million for a two-year contract to endorse British hair-care products from Jemella Group Ltd. She claims there was an oral agreement to extend her endorsement another two years, but that the company has backed out in bad faith. Now Perry wants the $2 million she claims she was promised.

Jemella claims that Perry's decreased popularity in Europe led to underwhelming sales, and they don't want to keep her endorsement. Perry's camp told TMZ on April 15, "They're backing out of the deal because of an ownership change, and just throwing shade to hide their bad faith."

The issue has not yet been resolved.

14. Selena Gomez vs. Adrenalina Perfume Line

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Perfume company Adrenalina claimed the Spring Breakers star failed to meet her obligations to promote her fragrance after they spent over $2 million on marketing and R&D.

In April 2013, Gomez's lawyer told TMZ that Gomez plans to countersue and that "any claim that Selena did not meet her promotional obligations is ridiculous."

15. vs. I.Am.Clothing

Allen Berezovsky / Getty Images

The Black Eyed Peas singer was sued in 2012 by his own clothing line. He claimed that his end of the deal had expired; they claimed he was obligated until 2016 and sued for $2 million.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.