Celebrity wellness guru Tanya Zuckerbrot’s popular F-Factor diet program was the target of a smear campaign that left her fearing for her safety, according to a source, and now she’s bravely taking action.
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Zuckerbrot, whose F-Factor product includes celebrity fans Katie Couric and Megyn Kelly, is suing fashion influencer Emily Gellis for allegedly making 4,500 defamatory posts over 75 days in which she claimed the “eat carbs … work out less” program causes dangerous side-effects.
The Internet personality told her massive audience of 200,000 plus followers the high-fiber, lean protein diet was “poisonous”, and “could cause death,” the suit claims. She went as far as alleging products caused women to miscarry, which Zuckerbrot’s attorneys vehemently denied in the lawsuit.
Gellis cited supposed reviews from anonymous users and repeatedly attacked Zuckerbrot personally in the obsessive rants, the documents say.
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On its website, F-Factor states the products do not contain any toxic ingredients and are safe for consumption when used as directed.
Zuckerbrot, a dietician for 20 years, says she has suffered extreme reputational damage — as well as mental anguish and severe financial loss — and is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, the court papers show.
Weekly sales dropped from $1 million to below $100,000 and a big money investment deal collapsed since Gellis began her public attacks, the docs say.
Known for her warm personality and positive outlook on life, now Zuckerbrot is sometimes unable to get out of bed because of the threats against her and, the suit says.
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“She has a loyal network of friends, patients and F-Factor followers to support her. They gave her the strength to take on the online bullies and discourage others from feeling like they have the power to make these types of attacks on someone else,” says the source.
Zuckerbrot filed her lawsuit in New York Supreme Court on Oct.8 and in response, Gellis made the Instagram account where she posts about F Factor ‘private’ from users. However, a source says she still posts frequently about Zuckerbrot and F-Factor on a daily basis.
According to the suit, Gellis had posted over 700 hours of videos and 4,500-plus “false, defamatory, and or harassing statements” broadcasted to her 208,000 followers contributed to the “downward spiral of Zuckerbrot’s nutrition empire.”
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“Gellis’ (sic) social media misconduct … has specifically caused Plaintiffs to suffer enormous financial harm, reputational damage, and devastating emotional distress,” Zuckerbrot’s attorneys wrote.
“Since July 2020, when Gellis’ misconduct began, F-Factor’s well-established monthly sales revenue has dropped from approximately $1 million/month to less than $90,000/month, as a direct result of Gellis’ misconduct.”
An investor planned to make a $40 million capital investment on F-Factor but recently pulled out of the deal, the affidavit said.
A source speculated that Gellis isn’t acting alone in her mission to takedown Zuckerbrot and believes the motives may be financially driven because of an affiliation with competitive products.
“No one ever thought Emily would take it as far as she did with this smear campaign… just thousands and thousands of damaging posts online,” the source says.
“There is a group fighting to wreck Tanya, while Tanya is fighting to restore her reputation and her successful, long-standing practice and products. It’s just unfortunate when women try to take down other women.”
Gellis has yet to file a response to Tanya’s complaint.
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