The Real Housewives star Bethenny Frankel is well-known for being constantly involved in high-profile controversies. The T.V. personality is now suing TikTok for allegedly allowing scammers to use her “image and likeness” to promote counterfeit products on the platform.

According to docs obtained by Page Six, the “Real Housewives of New York City” star alleged that some of her 994,600 followers alerted her in September after spotting what seemed to be Frankel advertising a knockoff luxury cardigan. Frankel claimed that a scammer had taken a past video of her singing her praises for a different cardigan and edited it to appear as though she was actually promoting the fake product – without her consent.

According to the filing, the Skinnygirl founder alleged that after learning about the scam, she posted a video warning her followers about the “unauthorised and illegal exploitation of her character to sell counterfeit items.” However, TikTok claimed that the video was removed for being “abusive.”

Frankel is seeking revisions to TikTok’s advertising policy, which she alleges doesn’t “monitor” these kinds of ads. Additionally, she is also asking for reimbursement for damages she incurred after her reputation “suffered severe injury and irreparable harm.” The lawsuit further continued,

Influencers like Frankel have to “constantly monitor for and police any unauthorized use of their name, portrait, picture and voice to ensure that counterfeiters and other unauthorized parties do not peddle counterfeited and other unauthorized products using their personas, voices, content, or likenesses,” 

“This requires substantial time and investment from the content creators, effort which is not always successful, and it is not compensated by TikTok in any form whatsoever.”

Although, Frankel claimed the social media platform deleted one of her warning videos, she posted at least three separate ones discussing the scam and her intentions to file a lawsuit. She said in one TikTok video posted on Sept. 18, “This is something that has to be addressed, because it’s a breeding ground for scams.” She continued, “What if this really really damaged my image? Because a lot of people are feeling like, ‘oh she sold out.’”

Frankel added in another Sept. 18 video, “These people are garbage, scumbag scoundrel scammers stealing, and their products are garbage, and don’t buy them,” The reality TV star doubled down on her suit and encouraged fellow influencers to speak up if they find themselves also being “violated without protection” in the “reckless marketplace.” We’ll have to see how the situation turns out. Stay tuned to Thirsty.

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Shubham Banerjee

Shubham is a computer science student. His love for technology, gadgets and coding pushed him to pursue a career in this field. Seeing his friends working for thirsty inspired him to write stuff. He loves information , reads about anything and everything and thirsty provided him a way to share this passion for being informed with the world in a mutually beneficial manner His personal interests include photography , exploring all kinds of music and football. Being disappointed with Barcelona's performance in Europe is the only constant in his life.

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