Jeweler paints rival as blood diamond supplier in ‘smear campaign’: lawsuit

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    http://nypost.com/2017/07/27/jewele...d-diamond-supplier-in-smear-campaign-lawsuit/

    Jeweler paints rival as blood diamond supplier in ‘smear campaign’: lawsuit
    By Julia Marsh
    July 27, 2017 | 6:00pm

    A professional poker player-turned-jeweler ​— ​who goes by the online moniker Jacob Worth ​— has engaged in a “smear campaign” painting a rival as a purveyor of blood diamonds​, all so he could draw business to his own struggling company, according to a new lawsuit.

    The owners of t​​he ethically-sourced diamond company Brilliant Earth are calling the jeweler’s bluff​ ​— suing him for defamation and claiming that he’s peddling “fake news” exposes about their business.

    The suit also doubles down on exposing Worth​ ​— whose real name is Jacob Avital​ ​— by claiming that he’s “been involved with operations in the illicit and fringe economies of gambling, adult entertainment, d​r​ugs and pawnshops” including through ​the no-longer-active​websites datebythehour.com and grasspackages.com.

    Brilliant Earth, founded by Stanford University grads Beth Gerstein and Eric Grossberg in 2005, has been featured on the “Today” show and in “Martha Stewart Weddings” magazine for sourcing diamonds from mines that are free of violence, human rights abuses and environmental degradation.

    The suit says an independent auditor has certified that its diamonds are conflict-free.

    But in Avitals telling through an April 2017 YouTube video Brilliant Earth “blatantly defrauds” customers by lying about the origin of diamonds and using fake Canadian certificates to hide the true source of the gems.

    The Manhattan civil suit says the so-called expose “is laden with demonstrably false statements regarding the company and its business practices.”

    Still Avital’s video has draw nearly 1 million views through repostings on social media sites like Reddit and Twitter.

    “After watching this video, I have seen the light, Brilliant Earth is evil and must be destroyed,” one viewer wrote about the San Francisco-based company.

    So the owners are suing to stop Avital from posting similar hit pieces and for unspecified damages.

    “Every day that defendant’s baseless allegations remain on the internet…potential Brilliant

    Earth customers choose not to contact Brilliant Earth — and because those purchases are often once-in-a-lifetime, Brilliant Earth is permanently damaged by the lost opportunity,” according to court papers.

    The suit says Avital’s postings are really a bid “to drive traffic to his jewelry business.” He “runs a relatively unknown jewelry business” called I Want What It’s Worth on 36th Street in Manhattan, according to court papers.

    Avital did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

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