LOS ANGELES – Jillian Michaels has been sued for alleged false advertising by a woman who claims she was duped into buying a diet supplement endorsed by the celebrity trainer.
Christie Christensen of Lake Elsinore, Calif., is seeking class-action status for the case she filed Tuesday in Los Angeles. Michaels is a hard-charging, no-nonsense trainer best-known as one of the stars of NBC's hit reality show, "The Biggest Loser."
Christensen's lawsuit claims she bought a product called "Jillian Michaels Maximum Strength Calorie Control" last month and that it has failed to lessen her appetite or cause her to lose weight as advertised.
Michaels' picture and endorsement appear on the packaging, touting her as "America's Toughest Trainer." The product and a Web site advertising include the claim, "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 lawsuit states.
The Web site and packaging however note that the statements haven't been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Christensen is also suing Utah-based Basic Research, which manufactures and markets several diet and weight loss products endorsed by Michaels.
Michaels' publicist, Heidi Krupp, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment Wednesday. A representative of Basic Research said the company may issue a statement later Wednesday.
"Calorie Control" is not among the products that NBC lists for sale on its "Biggest Loser" Web site, which include video games, DVDs and equipment, some bearing Michaels' image.
"The Biggest Loser" has been a hit for NBC, often appearing in Nielsen Co.'s Top 20 rankings for prime-time TV programs.
Christensen's suit seeks unspecified damages that are not expected to total more than $5 million. Her filing states she has "struggled with weight loss her entire life" and bought "Calorie Control" because of Michaels' endorsement.