George Foreman wants Omaha company to stop using his name


Friday, December 10th 2004, 8:28 pm
By: News On 6


OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Former boxer-turned-businessman George Foreman wants his name off an Omaha meat company.

The former heavyweight champion, whose name also graces a line of popular grills, testified Friday his former associates in George Foreman Foods Inc. ``broke every piece of the contract'' with him.

``They didn't do any of the things (they were supposed to do). They continued to go around and use my name improperly and put my name on products I didn't approve,'' Foreman said at a Bankruptcy Court hearing.

The company filed for bankruptcy in November, and Foreman has asked to be added as a creditor and for the company to stop using his name. He has not specified how much money he is owed.

He has also sued the president of the company, Larry Humberstone, in Omaha and Chicago.

Foreman, 55, said he ended his relationship with the company in November 2003.

The Omaha company owes more than $200,000 to nine parties, according to court filings.

In exchange for a portion of the profits, Foreman had licensed his name and likeness to the company and promoted the company's steaks as a product that complemented the popular George Foreman grill.

But the deal soured over disputes regarding what products could be marketed and who would make them.

Foreman said the initial agreement was to sell meats produced by ConAgra Inc. that he had approved and would promote on QVC, a shopping television channel.

In court filings, both Humberstone and George Foreman Foods have said they acted within their contract with Foreman. Company lawyer Richard Berkshire has said Foreman broke their agreement by refusing to do promotional appearances and TV commercials while negotiating with competitors.

Foreman, who lost to Muhammad Ali in a huge upset in 1974 and 20 years later became the oldest heavyweight champion ever at age 45, has 10 children _ including five sons named George.