The recent announcement of a lawsuit between “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” co-stars Miss Robbie and son Tim Norman has shocked fans. Tim’s mother Robbie Montgomery recently filed a lawsuit that claims trademark infringement and she is also accusing him of theft from one restaurant location.
Norman is being accused of opening at least four restaurants using the Sweetie Pie’s name and branding without permission. The lawsuit reads in part, “The fact Defendant Norman is identified as a member of Miss Robbie’s family on the Sweetie Pie’s Show, along with his position on the Show, further increases the potential of causing confusion in the market place.”
However, Tim Norman has a different take on the legal dispute with his mother. Norman recently released the following statement to media:
“In this turn of events, unfortunately, outsiders appear to be misguiding and manipulating my mother to sell our family business. It’s complicated, to say the least, as we have joint interest in various facets of the Sweetie Pies brand. I have to stay true to our brand and our business and I truly hope this disagreement can be settled between my mother and me. I have always, and will always, want what is best for my mother, our family, and our people. This is the risk of doing business with loved ones and I am hopeful for swift resolution.”
The dispute reflects one of the problems in running a family owned and highly popular business. In Atlanta, the son of music legend Gladys Knight also found himself in legal trouble regarding the Gladys Knight’s Signature Chicken and Waffles restaurant chain. Knight’s son Shanga Hankerson, the owner of the chains bearing the music legend and Empress of Soul’s name, was arrested in June after a raid by the Georgia Department of Revenue. Agent Josh Waites tells media, “Shanga’s accused of stealing over 650,000 in both sales and withholding tax. (With) penalties and interest, it’s up to over $1 million owed. We’ve had over two dozen payment plans with him and he’s defaulted on every single one.”