2:23pm PT by Austin Siegemund-Broka
Oprah Winfrey Network Claims Florida Man Perpetrated Impersonation Scheme
The Oprah Winfrey Network on Friday filed suit against a Florida man named Justin Jackson, claiming he pretended to be Oprah Winfrey's nephew and impersonated OWN employees to get jobs and gifts.
Joining OWN as co-plaintiffs in the complaint filed in Florida federal court are Reggie Love, a former college basketball player and personal aide to President Barack Obama (who has never been employed by OWN), and Scott Garner, the channel's executive vp scheduling and acquisitions.
They claim Jackson first impersonated Garner in 2013 to set up a meeting with a Coldwell Banker realtor to look at properties in Florida. Later in the year, Jackson allegedly sent letters on OWN letterhead and designed them to look like they were from Winfrey to try to get jobs with Perry Ellis and the Atlantic Hotel.
He allegedly repeated the scheme with the Fontainebleau Hotel, Starwood Hotels and Extended Stay America Hotel and told the latter company he's Winfrey's nephew and a former OWN employee. The plaintiffs claim he urged Extended Stay to employ him and a Florida woman named Angel Agarrat, also a defendant, because Winfrey would like to visit them at the hotel in Miami.
They claim Jackson tried to get items from Converse, Carters clothing, David Yurman, Pandora, Tacori and Tory Burch and access to singer Trey Songz by claiming association with Winfrey and OWN. They also accuse Jackson of impersonating Johnny Depp's manager for tickets to Oprah's show in Miami.
They say Jackson has a history of impersonation. They claim he posed as Madonna's manager in 2007 to obtain $2.4 million in Chopard jewelry for a fake photo shoot, then was convicted of grand theft for selling the jewelry.
In 2010, he allegedly impersonated Love to get Juicy Couture clothing and handbags and Cheesecake Factory gift certificates and was arrested for fraud and impersonating a public officer. The plaintiffs say he skipped bail and has an arrest warrant in Georgia.
OWN, Garner and Love have sued for common law invasion of privacy, trademark infringement, trademark dilution and civil conspiracy. They seek unspecified damages.
THR has reached out to Agarrat for comment. Jackson could not be reached.
A spokesperson for OWN says, "We seek the court's help to put a stop to these fraudulent activities."