Is Tara Costa, a Biggest Loser fan favorite, being sued for putting on weight again?
When she took part on the NBC show in 2009, Costa was a fan favorite, sweeping challenges almost every week and ending the season in second place.
She lost 155 pounds (seriously), and was so popular, she even came back to compete against players in a one-off challenge in 2011 (which she also won).
That popularity led to business deals, and therein lies her current conundrum.
FC Online Marketing Inc., which owns ILoveKickboxing (dot) com, signed her to a deal that included a guarantee that Costa maintaining her weight loss.
FCOM claims Costa didn't stick to that last part of the agreement.
As a result, they're suing her for the alleged weight gain.
"We hired Tara Costa in 2011 to be a spokesperson," CEO Michael Parrella said. "She came on at a certain weight. We had a fitness clause."
"She was in material breach of contract after she gained, in my opinion, about 45 pounds. She was supposed to visit 15 of our franchise locations."
"We weren't able to send her anywhere because she gained a lot of weight."
Of course, there's a point of contention. According to Costa, the suit claims she gained weight during a time when she was actually "the most fit" she's ever been.
In a recent tweet, Costa said the time period included when she "did Kona."
Costa took part in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii in 2011 and completed the grueling triathlon. Her lawyer, Darren Heitner, also disputes the claim:
"This case has absolutely nothing to do with Ms. Costa’s weight and everything to do with FC Online’s breach of an appearance contract," he said.
The attorney ripped their "exploitation of Ms. Costa’s name and image without compensation on a website that promoted their commercial services."
"Since appearing on season seven of NBC’s series The Biggest Loser, Ms. Costa has remained physically fit and even participated in an Ironman competition."
"FC Online’s effort to frame any debate as one related to Ms. Costa’s appearance is misguided and will be exposed throughout the litigation."
Who do you believe?