Tyrone Gilliams — the boyfriend of The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Shereé Whitfield — recently had his legal team fire off a cease and desist letter to Bravo, the television network airing the hit Housewives franchise.
Jason C. Berger, Tyrone’s lawyer, shared their camp’s reasoning for moving forward with the cease and desist by explaining it’d come to their attention that Truly Original, LLC (“Productions”), Bravo Media, LLC and NBCUniversal Media, LLC — which Berger collectively referred to as the “network” — “have unlawfully used Mr. Gilliams’ name and likeness for commercial purposes in connection to RHOA.
According to the attorney, the network’s actions are “in violation of numerous state and federal laws governing misappropriation and right of publicity.”
“Please be aware that at no time has Mr. Gilliams or his agents entered into an agreement with Productions or the Network, or otherwise granted permission to Productions, the Network, or any third party entity to use his name or likeness in connection with the Program,” Berger’s letter continued. “Furthermore, we are not aware that Productions or the Network made any inquiry or gesture to contact Mr. Gilliams’ representatives to obtain such authorization.”
Examples of the “violations” Berger referenced include but “are not limited to” four YouTube videos Bravo’s posted that feature Tyrone in some capacity, by name or otherwise.
“Aside from the flagrant violations against Mr. Gilliams outlined above, it should also be noted that Productions and the Network appear to have engaged (or intend to engage) in an intentional effort to defame and slander Mr. Gilliams name and reputation by exploiting content (or intending to exploit content) to suggest that Mr. Gilliams was involved or associated with a fraud on the United States Government in connection with the Paycheck Protection Program, which is entirely false,” Berger wrote.
Longtime RHOA viewers will recall that although Tyrone has never physically appeared on the show, his legal woes, incarceration for wire fraud and relationship with Shereé have all been topics of conversation for the cast for years.
In short, Tyrone and his legal team want Bravo to keep him off the network’s social media accounts and or advertising for RHOA, plus delete any footage they may have related to him.
Last week, reports claimed that Shereé and Tyrone haven’t been on speaking terms since an incident on Nov. 2. As MADAMENOIRE shared in its coverage of the story, Shereé reportedly traveled from New York City to Philadelphia — where Tyrone is currently serving a house arrest sentence — to go see her man.
The couple apparently didn’t see eye to eye after Tyrone didn’t show up for a date at a restaurant Shereé wanted them to have filmed for the upcoming season of RHOA. Although he ultimately didn’t attend the date — since leaving his home could have him potentially reincarcerated — Tyrone has allegedly been worried about the “optics” of the whole situation and whether it’ll come up in court.
Bravo hasn’t publicly commented on the cease and desist Tyrone’s camp sent over as of yet. We’ll keep you posted as this story progresses.