Former Labor Secretary Pick Sues Reality Star on Libel Claims

LOS ANGELES (CN) – Former fast food magnate and one-time Labor Secretary hopeful Andrew Puzder sued the former star of reality show “Beverly Hills Nannies” on Friday, claiming she wrote defamatory posts about him on Twitter.

Puzder sued Ariane Bellamar in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Friday in a bizarre complaint that claims she entangled him in an “ongoing, multi-year campaign of harassment and defamation against” Bellamar’s mother and father in-law, real estate investor Kenneth Slaught and his wife, artist Elizabeth Slaught. Ariane is married to their estranged son Tanner Slaught, who is not a party to the lawsuit.

Puzder says Bellamar targeted him because he is friendly with her father-in-law. He claims she has made several defamatory statements about him on Twitter since April.

Puzder is the former CEO of CKE Restaurants, which owned Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., and donor and supporter of the Dream Foundation.

According to the lawsuit, Bellamar wrote tweets suggesting Puzder scams charities, including the Dream Foundation, “out of funds, acts to improperly divert charitable funds to non-charitable purposes.” He says Bellamar also accused him on Twitter of being involved in the death of an individual named Stephen Redding, and a “related cover-up of wrong doing.”

Redding was the son of Jheri Redding, hairdresser and investor of hair products including the perm product Jheri Curl, Bellamar wrote in July 16 Twitter exchange. A Dream Foundation document lists Stephen Redding as the founder of Nexxus Products Co. and a member of the foundation’s honorary board of governors.

Puzder says all of the former reality star’s claims are false.

The lawsuit notes that Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Julian Recana awarded Bellamar’s mother and father-in-law more than $2 million in damages as well as an injunction against the reality star and their son, Tanner, after suing them for libel, false light, cyberpiracy and internet impersonation.

The ruling set off a flurry of tweets between Puzder and Bellamar earlier this month.

In a July 8 tweet, Puzder wrote: “Hey @ArianeBellamar, heard you were hit with the stiffest restraining order for social media ever been handed out in CA. Wonder why?”

Bellamar tweeted back the same day: “That is libel, sir. I have no restraining order against me. Not now, not ever. Post it or retract and apologize.”

Puzder replied: “That’s funny. You’re accusing me of libel. Still, what I heard. Sorry if it’s wrong. Good luck.”

On July 9, Puzder followed up on Twitter: “Received copy of judgment against you and your husband dated 6/29/17. Enjoins you from further defamation in prgrph18. You must know this.”

Puzder seeks general damages of $1 million and special damages of $1 million. He is represented by Erik Syverson of Raines Feldman. Courthouse News left a voicemail seeking comment on Friday afternoon.

President Donald Trump nominated Puzder to head the Labor Department in February, but the businessman later withdrew his nomination because of lack of support for his confirmation.

Bellamar also appeared on the show “Real Housewives of Toronto.”

Courthouse News has reached out to a talent agent listed as Bellamar’s representative for comment.

%d bloggers like this: