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Shark Tank Scandal: Daymond John Betrays Bubba Q’s Ribs?

Shark Tank’s Daymond John faces a legal dispute with Bubba Q’s Ribs over alleged unethical business and investment practices.

Daymond John, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Daymond John, a prominent entrepreneur and investor on Shark Tank, is ensnared in a legal dispute with a past contestant, Al “Bubba” Baker and his family, over their company Bubba Q’s Boneless Baby Back Ribs. As the saga unfurls, the issue at its core revolves around accusations of altering investment terms, withholding profits, and questionable business practices.

In the spotlight of this controversy, the Bakers allege John and his business associates’ unethical conduct. Having secured a $300,000 deal for 30% stake on the fifth season of Shark Tank, they maintain that the terms were altered post-show to $100,000 for a 35% stake. Furthermore, they point out their exclusion from key meetings and limited access to financial data, escalating the situation.

Complications emerged following their collaboration with Rastelli Foods Group, a meat manufacturer, intended to produce their patented product. The business relationship with John and Rastelli is described as problematic by the Bakers, due to Al Baker’s exclusion from crucial meetings and limited financial transparency. They also claim that John disregarded their complaints related to a website development company and the company’s bank control. They argue that they have only gained 4% of the $16 million business revenue.

Meanwhile, John, in his defense, asserts his contribution to the success of the Bakers’ boneless rib business, utilizing his extensive network. As a non-managing partner, he clarifies that he lacked authority or access to the company’s financial records and his role was largely restricted to brand ambassadorship.

Amid these allegations, John is seeking a temporary restraining order and a halt in business dealings with the Bakers. He disputes most of their accusations, labelling them as “false” and “defamatory”. Both John and Rastelli Foods have lodged complaints concerning the Bakers’ public statements.

Public squabbles have taken to social media platforms, with the Bakers publicly criticizing John and disclosing private communications. Zach Rosenfield, a spokesperson for John, conveyed that such attempts to tarnish the business partnership established four years prior will not be accepted any longer. He alluded to the restraining order as a response to the Bakers’ repeated efforts to publicly discredit their business relationship.

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