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Oprah, Dr. Oz File Lawsuit Against Alleged Acai Berry Scammers

Aug. 20 2009, Published 3:36 p.m. ET

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Oprah Winfrey and her frequent expert guest, Columbia University’s Dr. Mehmet Oz, are suing a network of merchants who they said falsely used their images to sell the Acai Berry, a fad product advertised as a help in all areas of general health, from weight loss to impotence (it's not, according to medical authorities).

While both discussed the product on one of Winfrey's shows, they have no tie to any of the companies that have been taking liberties with their likenesses, according to Oz, who also said the false-ringing endorsement was "hurtful" to his credibility as a pitchman. Expert David Schardt told GMA that Winfrey, in particular, has such high trust with her audience anything she touts is usually followed by phenomenal sales.

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Oz said that he has never endorsed any supplements, and if you see his picture on the bottle, it’s a fake.

According to the lawsuit: "These defendants are willfully capitalising on plaintiffs' valuable reputation and intellectual property rights to lure consumers into ordering their infringing products on the false premise that they have been tested or recommended by Ms. Winfrey and/or Dr. Oz when they have not."

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