Mocked Canadian 'Dragon's Den' Contestant Loses Supreme Court Bid For Appeal

Forget the hurt pride: Canada's highest court will not hear a complaint by John Turmel that he was slandered when he appeared on a 2010 episode of the reality TV show to pitch a business idea.

TORONTO - Canada’s highest court has dismissed a complaint by a CBC Dragon’s Den contestant that he was slandered when he appeared on the Canadian TV show to pitch a business idea to angel investors.

The Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday said it will not hear an appeal of a 2010 Ontario Superior Court dismissal of a libel suit by John Turmel against the public broadcaster.

On May 31, 2009, Turmel did a 15 minute pitch on the Canadian version of Dragon’s Den for a currency system based on poker chips, and asked the show’s panel of investors for $100,000 in start-up funds.

The Canadian dragon investors were not impressed and at one point called on Turmel to “burst into flames.”

Another panelist told Turmel he had no idea what he was talking about, and a third said he was “blowing air up a dead horse’s ass.”

On viewing the January 13, 2010 episode of Dragon’s Den in which he featured, Turmel launched a libel and slander action against the Canadian reality TV show.

But the Ontario Superior Court ruled Turmel gave his consent to appear on the Canadian TV show, and so had no grounds for libel.

“While Mr. Turmel may view the editing of the segment which was broadcast by the CBC as unconscionable, there is nothing unconscionable about the consent which he signed. Its substantive terms are not unfair nor is the consent improvident for Mr. Turmel,” the lower court ruled.

And the Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday refused to hear Turmel’s appeal, without giving an explanation.