The self-dubbed “Diet Queen to the Stars” was fined $60,000 on Friday for drug misbranding that led to a number of players being suspensedfrom the NFL in 2008.
The U.S magistrate judge fined Nikki Haskell, and her now defunct company Balanced Health Products Inc, in a Manhattan court after she pled guilty to a charge relating to the ‘StarCaps’ pills she distributed.
Many believe that Haskell got off relatively lightly, even if a $60,000 fine seems steep. Prosecutors had initially sought $100,000 fine, as well as six months behind bars for the unscrupulous “Diet Queen.”
By way of a response to the charges against her, Haskell told the judge in court, “I am so remorseful for this. It was never my intent to do anything inappropriate my entire life.”
As well as once being a television host, Haskell has also appeared in the New York Post‘s Page Six gossip column. She was the chief exec of her company, Balanced Health, which marketed the StarCaps as if they were an “all natural diet supplement.”
But in 2008 the company recalled the pills due to the presence of bumetanide. This is banned by the NFL because it is used to treat heart failure, renal failure, and high blood pressure symptoms.
According to the “Diet Queen,” she was “completely unaware” StarCaps had bumetanide it, adding she had “never even heard of the product until I heard these football players were using it. I’m still to this day shocked anything was in it.”
In 2008, six NFL players from the New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans, and the Minnesota Vikings received a four-game suspension after they tested positive for bumetanide.
In that year, two players sued Haskell and her company after their suspensions due to the fact that she had supplied them with the illegal pills. Following that lawsuit, Haskell filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy out of fear of other potential lawsuits from NFL players.