Sylvester Stallone Mixed Up in Low-Carb Pudding Mess

Sly Stallone, John Arnold to answer questions over "Sylvester Stallone Low Carb Pudding"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    As the title character in the Rambo series, Sylvester Stallone portrayed the iconic John Rambo.

    Sylvester Stallone and another man must face deposition questions and turn over financial documents from their former company within two weeks in a lawsuit alleging they misappropriated trade secrets, a judge ruled Thursday.

    However, lawyer Laura E. McSwiggin, who represents Stallone and John Arnold, said she is not sure of the "Rambo" and "Rocky" series star's whereabouts.

    "I don't know where he is," McSwiggin told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Susan Bryant-Deason, who previously set a Nov. 13 trial date for William Brescia's lawsuit

    "So, call him," Bryant-Deason replied. "It's completely proper at this point for Brescia to seek this."

    In March 2009, a three-justice panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal found that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William F. Highberger erred when he dismissed Stallone and Arnold as defendants in the lawsuit brought by Brescia, who created a high-protein, low-carbohydrate dessert for bodybuilders. They sent the case back for trial.

    The state Supreme Court declined to hear a further appeal.

    In September 2008, the nutrition supplements company Instone was found jointly liable with two other men, Keith Angelin and Christopher Scinto, in a $4.9 million jury award to Brescia.

    The 63-year-old Stallone, who was once chairman of Instone's board of directors, and former company chief executive officer Arnold are no longer affiliated with the company.

    Brescia filed his suit against Instone and other defendants in Los Angeles Superior Court in November 2004, but did not name Stallone and Arnold, the company's chief executive officer, until June 2007.

    Brescia alleged various causes of action, including misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract.

    Brescia's legal action was actually a countersuit after he was sued for defamation by Angelin, a marketing executive. Angelin claimed Brescia defamed him by claiming he stole his pudding idea and made it available to Instone.

    In the first trial verdict, jurors found Instone, Angelin and Scinto liable for breach of contract and breach of confidence. The same panel rejected Angelin's defamation claim.

    Brescia's lawyer, John A. Marder, said the trial against Stallone and Arnold will determine whether Instone's former corporate officers should also be held accountable for what happened to Brescia.

    McSwiggin argued that today's ruling was premature considering she has a motion to dismiss the case against Stallone and Arnold on March 24. She also said the request for documents was an invasion of her clients' "financial privacy."

    According to Brescia's suit, he began developing his idea for his pudding in 1999.

    To persuade Angelin and Scinto to deliver their alleged misappropriated product, Stallone "promised to use his significant financial resources to market and produce the product and to place his company's distinctive name... on the label," Brescia alleges.

    Ads for the pudding referred to it as "Sylvester Stallone Low Carb Pudding," according to Brescia's court papers.

    Stallone and Arnold maintain there is nothing special about the pudding and that Brescia's lawyers cannot show how it differs from the general knowledge of those in the same field as the plaintiff.