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Oksana Baiul Sues NBC for $5 Million, Cites Damage to Reputation

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  • Oksana Baiul
    (Photo: Reuters/Carlo Allegri)
    Former athlete Oksana Baiul poses for photos as she arrives at the Custo Barcelona collection show at New York Fashion Week February 19, 2009.
By Sami K. Martin, Christian Post Reporter
February 6, 2013|10:30 am

Oksana Baiul has filed suit against NBC for alleged misrepresentation. The Olympic skater stated that the company promoted an event using her name even though she had not agreed to participate in it.

Baiul has maintained that by using her name without guarantee of her participation, it made her look like a "no show" and discredited her reputation with fans. NBC had said that Baiul would appear at an event with musical group Styx and then with singer Kenny G.

"That damages her goodwill with her loyal fans that purchased tickets (often months in advance) expecting to see her perform," the suit stated, according to New York Daily News.

Baiul has had a rocky public relationship ever since coming to fame for her skating ability. She competed in the 1994 Olympics and took home the gold, cementing her in the champions' tier, but went through a hard personal time immediately following the competition.

In 1997, she was arrested for drunk driving and crashing her car into a tree. Baiul completed the terms of her probation and an alcohol education program but continued drinking. Later that year she entered a rehabilitation facility for alcohol abuse.

"We'll see what happens the next couple of years. This is my dream," Baiul told the press in 1998, after leaving the facility. She remained committed to her sobriety and told the press she wanted "to skate good for myself. I want to be happy."

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"Life for me is more important than alcohol. [Skating] keeps me alive," Baiul added.

This is the second lawsuit Baiul has brought against a company. In 2011, she sued the William Morris Endeavor agency for $1 million in damages. Her argument was that the company mishandled the money she earned for her Olympic performance in Norway.

Baiul maintained that she was unable to properly understand the agreement with the company because the papers were in English and she had difficulty since she is Ukranian.

 

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