UPDATE: William E. Crockett, the attorney for 220 Laboratories, has issued a statement to E! News defending the claims set forth in their lawsuit against Kate Hudson and her hair-care guru David Babaii.
"We can demonstrate that our client...invented these beauty products," Crockett said. "David Babaii and Kate Hudson have said they invented the product. Claiming to have invented and developed a product that is delivered ready-to-go is not only breach-of-contract—it's fraud.
"In fairness to Ms. Hudson, she may be unaware of the products' history, as she entered into a relationship with WildAid after the products had already been created. We are working to ensure that our client receives the compensation owed them."
On the positive side, Kate Hudson is finally garnering headlines for something other than her revolving-door love life. On the negative side, it's because she was sued.
Turns out Hudson succeeded in making her new hair-care line, David Babaii for Wildaid, eco-friendly; she was less successful at making it scientist-friendly.
At least to the scientists who claim to have discovered and provided, with no compensation, the line's secret ingredient. (View the lawsuit.)
According to a complaint filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the Los Angeles-based 220 Laboratories lobbed no fewer than 17 causes of action against Hudson and her hair guru Babaii, including fraud, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, breach of confidence and a host of other not-so-nice allegations, claiming the famous duo welshed on an oral contract establishing the lab as the sole providers of the island range's raw materials.
Under the terms of an August 2006 oral contract, 220 Laboratories says it agreed to develop and manufacture the line around the so-called Vanuatu Complex, basically samples of environmental life and volcanic ash found on the Vanuatu Islands that, apparently, works wonders on flyaways.
However, the lab claims that, after months of dealings and a change in the Wildaid management, Hudson & Co. opted to take the secret ingredient list and hightail it over to a competing manufacturer, who agreed to work on the line at a lower cost than 220 Laboratories.
Much to the lab's dismay, the suit asserts, the competitors' products and packaging were a little too similar to their original idea, as was the product's inclusion of the so-called Vanuatu Complex.
Hyping the special ingredient continued with a high-profile appearance by Babaii on the Home Shopping Network in July, to which Hudson called in to promote the products, as well as in promotional videos for the line, which officially launched a month earlier.
220 Laboratories claims it neither consented to the use of its ingredient nor the name and, even if there was consent, the lab has yet to receive any form of payment.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages plus interest.
Meanwhile, the actress' camp says, What?
"Kate and her attorneys are only just learning of the complaint, as Kate has not yet been served," publicist Brad Cafarelli told E! News Monday. "Kate does not know the plaintiffs and has never met with them or spoken with them. Her representatives believe that the claims are baseless and without merit and intend to vigorously defend the lawsuit."
Babaii's camp, meanwhile, has also denied any wrongdoing.
"We stand by our actions during the research and development process of the David Babaii for WildAid hair care line and believe that 220 Laboratories' allegations are baseless and without any merit," publicist Erin Burke told E! News.
"If we are formally served with the complaint, we will vigorously defend this claim."
UPDATE: On April 6, 2009, a judge threw out three of the allegations directed at Hudson and gave the plaintiffs 20 days to provide more evidence to support their claims (which do not involve Hudson) of breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing if they want to pursue them in court.
Hudson is still being accused of misappropriating trade secrets. Her and Babali's attorney, Jeremiah T. Reynolds, said that his clients would soon be filing a cross-complaint.
(Originally published Aug. 25, 2008, at 2:17 p.m. PT)