LOS ANGELES — Two well-known individuals with adult entertainment ties are feuding it out over ownership of NOHO Inc., the purveyors of anti-hangover beverage NOHO.
NOHO's CEO and largest shareholder, Jay Grdina, were sued yesterday by Todd Blatt, who alleged in a federal suit that he helped create the company and whose industry connections and resources were vital to its growth into a publicly traded company.
Today, NOHO is the world’s No.1 selling hangover-prevention supplier, according to the suit. The company trades on the OTC under the ticker DRNK.
NOHO produces two beverages, NOHO “The Hangover Defense,” a 2 oz. shot, and NOHO Gold “Premium Lifestyle Beverage,” an 8.4 oz. can.
Blatt has had stakes in adult entertainment ventures for more than 25 years, operating Antigua Pictures and other companies involved in broadcast and distribution. According to the suit, Blatt through the years earned the badge of honor as the "alpha dog of foreign licensing and distribution in the adult entertainment industry."
Blatt and Grdina first met over 20 years ago. At the time, Grdina was a producer, actor and investor in adult films.
In 2004, Grdina’s former company, Club Jenna Inc., hired Blatt as its international licensing agent, resulting in a significant boost in foreign sales and Club Jenna’s worldwide brand recognition, the suit said. Grdina was married to porn star Jenna Jameson and acted, produced and directed in Club Jenna films.
Seven years later, in March 2011, Grdina approached Blatt with an offer to partner on his new hangover-prevention drink, NOHO.
Grdina said that he needed Blatt’s foreign sales expertise and connections in order for his plan to take NOHO public to succeed and that he believed Blatt was the right person for the job, the suit said.
"Grdina and Blatt entered into the oral joint venture agreement whereby in exchange for a 10 percent founders’ interest, Blatt would use his connections, skill and expertise to direct and manage NOHO’s foreign licensing and distribution and build NOHO into a successful brand that could be taken public in the U.S.," the suit said.
Blatt alleges, among others, that he was defrauded out of his shares of NOHO, suffering more than $5 million in damages.
Blatt claims that his share of the company, 10 percent, was wiped out when Grdina dissolved Doce Bevuto LLC and transferred over to a Nevada corporation that was eventually acquired by NOHO Inc., which later went public. Blatt's shares, the suit said, were effectively wiped out.
Blatt and co-plaintiff TCB Partnership said in a complaint filed late yesterday at federal court in Los Angeles that "through their substantial investment of blood, sweat, tears and capital, plaintiffs built NOHO into a successful, publicly traded company."
"In return ... Jay Grdina, rewarded plaintiffs with dishonesty and broken promises. Plaintiffs have been cheated out of their rightful interest in NOHO and defendants must now answer for their actions," the suit said.
The filing, alleging breach of partnership and constructive fraud and 11 other counts, seeks unspecified compensatory damages in excess of $5 million, as well as punitive damages and attorneys fees.
Blatt's attorney, Gary Kaufman of the Kaufman Law Group, declined comment to XBIZ.
Grdina, who also declined comment, told XBIZ he would be issuing a statement on Wednesday.