On The Real Housewives of Orange County, Meghan King Edmonds often complains about the absence of her husband, Jim Edmonds.
According to the stay-at-home stepmom, 30, the grouchy baseball legend always ditches their California home to deal with unnamed business in his adopted hometown of St. Louis.
And now, RadarOnline.com can exclusively reveal the matter that likely took Edmonds, 45, away from home for so many months: The St. Louis Cardinals alum and restaurateur was dealing with a major lawsuit that could have cost him his business and his fortune!
According to U.S. district court documents obtained by Radar, restaurateur Jeff Ruby, owner of Cincinnatti steakhouse The Precinct, sued Edmonds and his company, MWS LLC, for trademark infringement after the baseball great opened a new eatery with the same name.
Edmonds, the owner of St. Louis bar and grill The Precinct, "has embarked in a deliberate and willful campaign to circumvent and misappropriate Plaintiff's exclusive rights in the Precinct Mark and the goodwill associated herewith," Ruby argued in the November 2013 papers.
Before Edmonds opened his restaurant's doors in October 2013, Ruby claimed he dined at the Cincinnati Precinct "several times" while playing for the Cincinnati Reds in 2010.
"Edmonds became uniquely and intimately aware of Plaintiff's iconic Precinct restaurant," Ruby said, alleging that his competitor purposely imitated his restaurant's name, décor, and dress.
Ruby asked that Edmonds' restaurant be shut down, and sought a financial compensation for damages.
Edmonds' attorneys admitted that their client had been to Ruby's restaurant, but denied any trademark infringement.
They filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, but a judge denied the request.
After more than a year or legal back and forth, the two parties eventually settled out of court, and the case was dismissed on May 27, 2015.
Perhaps related to the lawsuit drama, Edmonds and his partners announced that the restaurant had closed down permanently just a week prior on May 20.
Edmonds' former restaurant reopened as a private event space called Jim Edmonds's Space 15.