Wahlburgers — the growing restaurant chain owned by the Wahlberg celebrity sibling trio, Mark, Donnie, and Paul — is in legal trouble yet again. In 2013, former business partners accused the B-list burger entrepreneurs of engaging in wrongful business activity, and in this latest lawsuit, the same partners are accusing them of excluding them in the fast-food chain’s national expansion plans, according to the Boston Globe.
William “Billy” Leonard and Edward St. Croix seek unspecified damages for failing to snag a piece of the Wahlburger fortune. Leonard was both a business partner and a regular guest character on the A&E reality show, Wahlburgers, about the chain, and both men had ownership stakes in the first Wahlburgers locations, which opened in Hingham, just outside Boston, in 2011.
“Ultimately, the three Wahlberg brothers — whose interpersonal relationships are dysfunctional — wound up as the sole managers” of the enterprise, the lawsuit states. “They then stole the most valuable franchise opportunities for themselves.”
The spokesperson for the Wahlbergs has dismissed the case as “frivolous.”
“It’s obvious that this lawsuit, with its unbridled litany of false and misleading claims, was concocted to further the plaintiffs’ own personal agendas at the expense of the truth, the Wahlberg family and other investors,” the spokesperson told The Globe. “Family, fairness, and integrity are at the core of the Wahlburgers brand, and we are prepared to protect the values for which we stand.”