At least according to Chris Volek, founder and chief executive officer of HairTech International, who asserted the celebrity was being paid millions to wear and promote HairTech’s DreamCatchers brand extensions, and ultimately wasn’t. Volek said Hilton was under contract with HairTech since January 2007 and stopped sporting DreamCatchers in 2008 after she cut her locks short. It was at that time Volek alleges Hilton didn’t resume wearing DreamCatchers and started wearing another brand.
Attorneys for Hilton responded: “There is no merit whatsoever to any of these claims. We will pursue all of our defenses vigorously and any potential counter claims.”
But Volek said, “We had the renewal of the contract coming up, and I said ‘To hell with it.’ Why are we paying her if she is not wearing the product?”
HairTech has launched a fraud and breach-of-contract lawsuit against the starlet seeking $35 million in damages. Volek explained that the figure — 10 times the total shelled out to Hilton throughout her relationship with HairTech — is rooted in the sales expected for DreamCatchers if Hilton received royalties or fees of 10 percent.
HairTech also accused Hilton in the lawsuit of costing it money by running afoul of the law. The company states Hilton’s 23 days in jail in 2007 for driving with a suspended license interfered with a launch party to the tune of $6.6 million in losses for HairTech. Volek added the marijuana-smoking case recently dropped in South Africa against Hilton has also hampered DreamCatchers’ business.
Volek said HairTech has generated $2 million to $2.5 million a year in wholesale sales to thousands of salons. He indicated DreamCatchers made little to no profit despite its high-profile spokeswoman.
“We were paying Paris $1.7 million to $1.8 million a year,” said Volek.
Going forward, Volek said HairTech is moving away from tapping celebrities to front brands. Later this year, he estimated the company would spend around $100,000 to run national DreamCatchers commercials.
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