Dr. Wallach’s sex life a focal point in Youngevity Wakaya lawsuit
As part of their ongoing legal dispute with Youngevity, Wakaya perfection served Dr. Joel Wallach with discovery interrogatories.
Said interrogatories demand Wallach
identify each and every person with whom he has entered into a legal marriage, domestic partnership, cohabitation, or substantially similar relationship and the dates on which such relationship commenced.
Wakaya Perfection also want Wallach to
identify … any Youngevity Distributor with whom he has had or attempted to have any degree of intimate physical contact.
Yup, they went there.
Grab your popcorn folks, we’re going under the covers…
The dispute between Wakaya Perfection and Youngevity stems from claims that Wakaya Perfection launch by gutted Youngevity.
Wakaya Perfection denies the claims and filed a counter-claim in response.
In their counter-claim Wakaya Perfection allege, among other things, that
Dr. Wallach frequently engaged in a pattern of traveling with and sharing hotel rooms at Youngevity events with a variety of female companions other than his wife, some of whom are Youngevity distributors.
Those claims and related discovery are currently at the center of a legal battle between the two companies.
Youngevity describe their founder, Dr. Joel Wallach (right), as
a 77 year old man who is neither an owner, officer, director, shareholder, employee, nor distributor of Youngevity, Dr. Wallach has no legal right, power, or authority to bind or compel any Youngevity distributor to do anything.
Dr. Wallach’s son, Steve Wallach, is CEO of the company. Steve’s wife Michelle Wallach is Youngevity’s Chief Operating Officer.
In their own words, Youngevity describe Dr. Wallach’s role within Youngevity as follows:
Dr. Wallach travels most of the year giving health and nutrition seminars for the benefit of Youngevity distributors, he having originally founded the company and having designed its essential nutritional formulations.
Distributors can contact Youngevity to request to schedule Dr. Wallach to speak at their events, but that scheduling is not contractually required and is entirely dependent on his availability and interest.
If they schedule Dr. Wallach to speak, they must pay for Dr. Wallach’s meals,
lodging, meeting rooms, and ground transportation.
To save money, distributors often ask Dr. Wallach to share a room with several distributors, regardless of gender.
Wakaya Perfection claim these arrangements are a cover for bunga-bunga parties, entered into by female affiliates with the aim of gaining a financial edge within Youngevity.
Despite alleging that Dr. Wallach had sex with Youngevity distributors in exchange for downline positions, Wakaya has presented no direct factual evidence in support, depending instead on rumor and innuendo.
Moreover, Wakaya has not explained how Dr. Wallach, who lacks corporate power or authority to cause downline changes could cause a change against a distributor’s will or to any distributor’s economic disadvantage.
Personally I’d have thought when your son is running the company you founded, how you’d go about (allegedly) manipulating downlines would be obvious.
I mean it’s not like Joel and Steve Wallach are complete strangers now, are they.
Offering up the same sentiment, Wakaya Perfection state;
Regardless of his technical legal authority, Dr. Wallach exercises enormous influence and control over and within Youngevity.
He is the founder and the face of the company.
On June 12th Wakaya Perfection alleged in court that Dr. Wallach had slept with Brandy Brogdon and Charmaine Murphy, two former highly ranked Youngevity affiliates.
Via sworn affidavits, both women deny the allegations.
When pressed to identify which Youngevity affiliates had been given cushy affiliate positions in exchange for bow-chika-wowwow with Dr. Wallach, Wakaya Perfection ‘identified only Brogdon and Murphy‘.
Wakaya didn’t interview either woman, with their allegation relying on statements by unidentified individuals alleging they’d
observed Dr. Wallach, apparently intoxicated, enter hotel rooms occupied by women other than his wife.
Youngevity believe Dr. Wallach shouldn’t be compelled to answer Wakaya Perfection’s discovery interrogatories and have filed for a protective order.
Wakaya seeks to invade Dr. Wallach’s right to privacy and annoy, embarrass, harass, and oppress him.
Moreover, despite Wakaya’s counsel’s assurances to this Court on June 12that the inquiries and responses would be kept confidential, Wakaya’s distributors are already publishing word that their counsel intends to ask questions that will reveal salacious details of Dr. Wallach’s sex life.
It is thus clear that Wakaya distributors intend to use inquiries to damage Dr. Wallach’s reputation among distributors and within the direct selling community.
Wakaya argues that whether Dr. Wallach had sexual relations with Youngevity distributors is relevant to why people left Youngevity for Wakaya.
That argument fails because there is no evidence that Dr. Wallach had sexual relations with the people Wakaya claims.
In their response to the motion, Wakaya Perfection claim Dr. Wallach’s conduct is the reason some affiliates left Youngevity.
As explained in (Wakaya’s) Answer and Counterclaim, Youngevity’s culture has been plagued by a wide variety of wrongful conduct and misbehavior by the Youngevity Parties.
One aspect of that culture specifically relevant to this Motion includes the treatment of women by or affiliated with Doctor Joel Wallach, the founder and public face of Youngevity.
In particular, Dr. Wallach engaged in inappropriate relationships with numerous female Youngevity distributors, who would often receive preferential treatment from the Youngevity Parties at the expense of other Youngevity distributors.
He also harassed other female Youngevity distributors, who rejected his sexual advances and were not so rewarded.
This improper conduct played an important role in the ultimate departure of many Youngevity distributors, including the Wakaya Parties.
While provided evidence at this stage is thin, Wakaya Perfection’s attorneys have stated they ‘intend to introduce testimony concerning Dr. Wallach’s sexual history at trial‘.
That said, they do offer enough in their response filing to suggest they’re willing to go all the way.
Dr. Wallach’s accommodations at events have been referred to as rooms of adultery.
The Wakaya Parties are also aware that Dr. Wallach may be currently married to multiple different women, which is a crime directly and materially impacting Dr. Wallach’s character and reputation.
And most troubling are instances in which Dr. Wallach made persistent, unwelcome sexual advances towards female Youngevity distributors, including countless instances of unwanted comments, kissing, touching, and hotel-room visits and solicitations.
Youngevity employees have also shared similar concerns.
Several former Youngevity employees have detailed difficulties while scheduling events and coordinating Dr. Wallach’s demands.
For instance, Dr. Wallach would often desire to sit by one woman one evening of an event, another woman the next evening, and his wife at other times.
Employees were then tasked with keeping his favored women apart from one another while also fielding complaints from distributors about the preferential treatment given to some of Dr. Wallach’s favorites, such as Brandy Brogdon and Charmaine Murphy.
And employees were later tasked with damage control whenever Dr. Wallach’s behavior caused public scenes.
Certainly sounds like it’s good to be king over at Youngevity…
The Wakaya Parties’ narrowly tailored interrogatories regarding specific inappropriate behavior and relationships of Dr. Wallach are wholly proper—they are directly relevant to the issues in this case and were propounded to enable the Wakaya Parties to fully and adequately prepare their claims and defenses.
Curiously, rather than simply deny that such inappropriate behavior and relationships exist, the Youngevity Parties now seek a protective order.
The Youngevity Parties apparently endeavored to obtain declarations from two women who did not “have sex” with Dr. Wallach but thus far refuse to provide any response whatsoever from Dr. Wallach supporting that he has not, in fact, had inappropriate relationships with Youngevity distributors.
Those last points struck me too as I went over the filings. Neither Youngevity or Dr. Wallach have asserted he didn’t sleep with female Youngevity affiliates. Only the two women Wakaya Perfection have thus far named.
The Wakaya Parties should be permitted to ask Dr. Wallach and others during their depositions about his misbehavior and relationships with Youngevity distributors and, with respect to any distributors with whom he had an inappropriate relationship, whether the Youngevity Parties took any action to benefit or harm those or other Youngevity distributors.
Wakaya Perfection state that it isn’t so much who Dr. Wallach slept with that’s the issue, but rather the disadvantage his conduct created for Youngevity affiliates who didn’t sleep with him.
The issue is that Dr. Wallach’s actual and perceived inappropriate relationships—whether marriages, cohabitations, and other intimate physical relationships of any sort—with numerous female Youngevity distributors unfairly impacted many other distributors and deterred many from working with Youngevity altogether.
Dr. Wallach’s misbehavior—and the tolerance of his inappropriate actions by Youngevity’s senior management—cultivated an environment that eventually both distributors and employees sought to avoid.
This objectionable culture directly disproves Youngevity’s argument that its loss of distributors can be attributed to the Wakaya Parties.
A hearing to resolve the discovery dispute was held on June 16th.
Youngevity’s Motion for a Protective Order was “granted in part and denied in part”, however at the time of publication full details of the order were not yet available.
Update June 24th 2017 – The court order mostly granted Youngevity’s protective order. Wakaya however have been given permission to query Wallach on with respect to any specific affiliates who benefited he had an “intimate physical relationship with”.