Jul 28, 2023 - News

Daymond John of "Shark Tank" gets restraining order against former Cleveland Brown

Bubba's "Shark Tank" moment.

Bubba's "Shark Tank" moment. Photo: Michael Ansell/Disney General Entertainment Content

A local "Shark Tank" success story has gotten ugly.

Driving the news: "Shark Tank" investor Daymond John has been granted a permanent restraining order against former Cleveland Brown Al "Bubba" Baker and his family, whose company John invested in through the reality series.

  • John accused Baker, his wife, Sabrina, and daughter Brittani of making "disparaging" public remarks about John and his company, DF Ventures.

Flashback: The Bakers appeared on "Shark Tank" in 2014 to pitch Bubba’s Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs.

  • John agreed to invest $300,000 into the Avon-based company in exchange for a 30% ownership stake.

By the numbers: CNBC reported the company's sales grew from $154,000 before the "Shark Tank" episode to $16 million over the next three years.

Yes, but: In May 2023, Baker publicly accused John of withholding profits and trying to take over the family's business.

  • John filmed a TikTok video, saying the accusations are "at best not true, and that's me being kind."

What they're saying: In granting the permanent restraining order, a judge said the Bakers' comments "clearly caused reputational harm that John will now have to deal with and counter."

  • John called the decision a "moment of vindication" in a statement. "The actual facts, the record and the federal judge’s opinion have confirmed that I did not — and could not have — committed any wrongdoing,"

The other side: The Bakers did not respond to Axios' request for a comment. The family also declined this week to comment to USA Today and other news outlets.

What's next: The court order requires the Bakers to remove any defamatory comments about John from social media, which the family appears to have done, and it prohibits any such statements in the future.


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