2014 Trumpet Awards

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Reality TV star, former “Ikette” from Ike & Tina Turner’s band and St. Louis native Ms. Robbie, owner of Sweetie Pie’s restaurant, has just filed a lawsuit against her son, James Norman, who we all know as “Tim” who is also a reality star from their show on Oprah’s Own Network, “Sweetie Pies.” Hate to see this happening with such a seemingly loving family, so why is Miss Robbie sue her son? Well…

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Miss Robbie has accused her son of stealing money and misusing her trademarks to open competing restaurants, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday. The suit, filed in the Eastern District of Missouri, said that Montgomery discovered last summer that James T. Norman “had been misappropriating Plaintiff’s accounts and funds maintained in connection with his management of Sweetie Pie’s in The Grove, at 4270 Manchester Ave. The suit said Norman withdrew “substantial sums of money” from the accounts and used them to open and operate restaurants in North Hollywood, California; Berkeley and Florissant. It also said Norman has refused to return the money.

The suit accuses Norman of violating Sweetie Pie’s trademarks. “Authorized” Sweetie Pie’s locations are located in The Grove and in Dellwood, according to the suit, but TJ’s Sweetie Pie’s Noho (North Hollywood, California), TJ’s Sweetie Pie’s Airport (Berkeley) and Sweetie Pie’s Kitchen (Florissant) are not authorized. Miss Robbie’s first restaurant, in Dellwood, opened in 1996, and recently reopened. A listed phone number for The Grove restaurant was disconnected Wednesday.

The suit also claims Tim’s misuse of Sweetie Pie’s marks, registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2006, impairs Montgomery’s ability to operate her restaurants in the St. Louis area and to open any restaurants in the Los Angeles area, also stating that because Miss Robbie and Tim were featured as family members on “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” an Oprah Winfrey Network reality TV show, there is a further chance of “causing confusion in the market place.”

To add insult to injury Tim’s other restaurants are getting bad reviews…The suit cited negative online reviews for Tim’s restaurants as having damaged the perception of Montgomery’s. said one California restaurant reviewer “Norman is gonna ruin his mommas reputation and her business if he doesn’t slow down and recalibrate.”

In her lawsuit Miss Robbie is seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction prohibiting Norman and two of his entities, Sweetie Pies Hollywood LLC and Sweetie Pies Kitchen LLC, from continuing to use the Sweetie Pie’s marks. The suit, which alleges violations on seven civil counts, also seeks a variety of monetary damages and requests that the infringing domain names be transferred to Sweetie Pie’s or canceled.

Wow…I hope this home town mother and son can work all this out and come together once again.