The 32 year old beauty from Slovenia who has been a model on the books of Ford Models agency has sued the father and son duo over her share of business in the company, causing much embarrassment to the Tory energy minister. It’s claimed by Ursa that Ashok and Rikki Verma stole the brand and assets of the company that sells low-glycaemic rice.
According to the legal claim the brand is said to have been stolen when the relationship between Ms. Philbin and Rikki Verma began going through a rough patch. It was in Jan last year that their personal and business relationship suffered setbacks. It is alleged that the former model was threatened by Hon Rikki Verma that she’d be kicked out of the company if she broke up with him. However the relationship did end not long after, in 2012.
It was then, according to claims from Ms. Philbin that the trademark and assets of My Skinny Rice were transferred to new companies helmed by the Vermas. This controversy comes hot on the heels of the infamous, privately-made “all a load of hot air” comment from Baroness Verma, describing her brief as a minister. More embarrassment is likely to come the minister’s way as this controversy unfolds.
Ms. Philbin has claimed that she was recognised as the face, creator, designer, founder of the brand according to a shareholder’s agreement. Her lawyers claim that this agreement was witnessed by the energy minster herself in a House Of Lords’ private room. It is reported that Ms. Philbin was the reason behind the transformation of the product that had turned into a lifestyle brand rather than one catering to diabetic and ethnic consumers. However it’s now claimed that her face and name on the packaging is concealed by stickers.
Rikki and Ashok Verma in their legal response that’s filed in the High Court have claimed that the stakeholder’s agreement was subject to further discussion. And given the turbulent relationship with his son Rikki, Ashok Verma had transferred intellectual property of the brand to protect it. The Vermas have also called on the court to hold any further hearings in England.
The energy minster’s spokesman has issued a statement saying the Baroness is not a party to the litigation while Rikki and Ashok Verma have denied the allegations vehemently. But there’s no doubt that the minister could have done without the legal soup she finds herself in. For more information on the matter one can write to firstname.lastname@example.org or log into http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jan/05/tory-peer-family-rice-firm
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