UPDATE: ThinCare International responded with the following statement:
"Not only have placebo-controlled, double-blind, published clinical studies been conducted on the active calorie-control compound in Jillian Michaels Maximum Strength Calorie Control, but that research was reviewed by some of the leading weight-loss experts in the world before Jillian would put her name on the product."
This isn't the kind of action Jillian Michaels is used to inspiring.
The Biggest Loser's star trainer is being called a big fraud in a lawsuit claiming her diet supplements don't work as advertised.
The complaint, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court by California native Christie Christensen, alleges that Jillian Michaels Maximum Strength Calorie Control, which features the fitness guru's picture and endorsement by "America's Toughest Trainer," did not help Christensen shed the pounds.
Now she wants revenge and is hoping to get class-action status, allowing others to join the fray.
In her court filing, Christensen says she didn't get the results promised on the packaging: "Two Capsules Before Main Meals and You Lose Weight...That's It!"
"Ms. Michaels knows better--taking two pills before eating does not miraculously cause weight loss," the plaintiff states.
"She felt like she had been misled and deceived," said Christensen's attorney, Melissa Harnett. "We're getting calls from many people now as a result of this who claim they had been similarly misled."
She added: "When it's a celebrity who has built her fame on telling people that it takes blood, sweat and tears to lose weight and then turns around and capitalizes on that fame by putting out a product that inherently is contrary to the notion that you need to excercise and eat right to loseweight, there's something wrong with that picture."
Also named in the suit are Thin Care International and Utah-based Basic Research, the companies that produce and market the supplement, respectively.
If granted class-action status, the suit hopes to recoup unspecified damages totaling no more than $5 million to be split among those who bought the supplement.
Michaels' rep, Heidi Krupp, was unavailable for comment.
But it's worth noting that both Michaels' website and the Calorie Control packaging indicate the supplement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product also does not appear for sale on NBC's Biggest Loser website.
(Originally published Feb. 10, 2010, at 12:46 p.m. PT)
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