(CN) – Media reports that former New York Giants star Tiki Barber was divorcing his then-pregnant wife after he had extramarital trysts with a 23-year-old NBC intern have rendered his marketability “worthless,” says a company that wants to rescind a deal for Barber to pitch its indoor cycling studios.
Tricera Revolutions claims it made the deal with Barber in October 2009. Barber agreed to be spokesman for Tricera’s for its state-of-the-art Flywheel Sports studios in exchange for 10,000 shares in company stock, according to the complaint in New York County Court.
Tricera claims its owners believed Barber, then a “Today” show correspondent, and his wife, Ginny Barber, were happily married, the complaint states. At the time, the couple had two children and were expecting twins.
Tricera, whose upscale studios charge members $30 for a single ride and $595 for a season, hoped that its association with the celebrity couple, who the suit said were “known to attend indoor cycling classes together,” would help it in its goal of attracting 25- to 55-year-old women and their spouses.
But even before reports of Baber’s relationship with the intern began circulating in April 2010, the relationship between the parties appeared to be strained. Tricera claims that neither Barber ever visited a Flywheel studio.
Tricera claims that Barber also reneged on an agreement to wear Flywheel Sports clothing and accessories whenever possible.
Tricera claims it spent “hundreds of dollars” creating the gear for Barber to wear while working as a correspondent for NBC during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
But “Barber never wore any of it on camera at the Olympics,” nor did he provide Tricera with a single picture of himself “wearing or holding a Flywheel Sports branded clothing item or accessory,” according to the complaint.
Widespread media reports about Barber’s affair were the deal-breaker, the company said.
“The reaction among the company’s clientele to Barber’s affair has been overwhelmingly negative, especially amongst the business’s core clientele, 25-55 year-old women, many of them married with children,” the complaint states.
“Numerous customers have made statements to the company’s representatives condemning Barber and questioning the company’s dealings and continued involvement with him.”
Tricera seeks rescission of the agreement and at least $1 million in damages, on claims of fraudulent inducement and breach of contract.
Also named as defendants were Mark Lepselter and Drew Sheinman, officers of Tiki Ventures.
Tricera is represented by Gerald Padian and Richard Tashjian with Tashjian & Padian in New York, N.Y.