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Class Claims TV Diva Pushes Snake Oil

BROOKLYN (CN) - A federal class action claims that reality TV personality Kendra Wilkinson pushes General Nutrition Corp. fat-reducing diet supplements that don't work.

Wilkinson, also known as one of Hugh Hefner's many former girlfriends, hawks Abdominal Cuts supplements for co-defendants Corr-Jensen Labs, General Nutrition Corp. and General Nutrition Centers, lead plaintiff Adam Karhu says in the complaint.

Karhu claims the defendants push Abdominal Cuts aka Ab Cuts with false claims that it targets fat in the midsection and thighs, and promises a "3.1 percent reduction in body fat percentage," "lean tissue enhancement," and "amplified metabolism."

"Each of these representations is false and misleading," Karhu says in the complaint.

It continues: "Ab Cuts is ineffective for weight control and the reduction of fat in the abdominal, hip and thigh areas because studies show that the active ingredient in Ab Cuts, Conjugated Linoleic Acid ('CLA') does not reduce body fat mass or sagittal abdominal diameter and does not cause weight loss."

CLA is a fatty acid found in animal products. Sagittal abdominal diameter is the distance from the small of the back to the upper abdomen.

"Defendants market Ab Cuts through a multimedia advertising campaign featuring reality TV star Kendra Wilkinson, whose image adorns nearly every advertisement for the product," the complaint states. "She also solicits sales of the products through her Facebook account, Twitter account, through appearances at GNC stores and through frequent paid appearances in celebrity magazines including Life & Style, Reality Weekly Magazine and OK! Magazine.

On the official Ab Cuts website,, Ab Cuts is touted as a healthy supplement that can 'assist with body-fat reduction (particularly in the abdominal area), healthy metabolism, antioxidant supply and anti-inflammatory assistance. 'Each of these representations is false and misleading." (Parentheses in complaint.)

Karhu adds: "Ab Cuts does not support fat loss or weight loss, and has never been clinically tested to reduce fat around the belly, hips and butt. Not only is Ab Cuts ineffective, it is also unsafe," because CLA "increases the risk of type II diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease."

Wilkinson starred in the reality television series "The Girls Next Door," which from 2005 through 2009 chronicled the lives of three of Hefner's girlfriends.

She then starred in a spin-off series, "Kendra," which focused on her life after leaving the Playboy Mansion.

Karhu seeks class damages for violations of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, breach of express and implied warranty, unjust enrichment and consumer law violations.

He is represented by Joseph Marchese with Bursor & Fisher.

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