In Lesson #17 of my latest book 21 Life Lessons From Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb, I share a chapter called “Opportunists on the Internet like Heidi Diaz from Kimkins lurk online” to warn others of the nightmare of believing everyone who talks about diet and health in cyberspace. As idealistic as it may be to think that everyone who blogs, has a web site, and puts themselves out there as a real person is being completely honest and trustworthy, the sad reality is that there are shysters who are seeking victims they can take advantage of both emotionally and financially. And one of the biggest perpetrators of doing just that is none other than the founder of a low-fat, low-carb, calorie-restricted diet plan called Kimkins named Heidi Diaz. If you’re interested in learning more specifically about how this woman destroyed the lives of thousands of people over the past decade beginning at Low-Carb Friends to her feature front-cover story in Woman’s World magazine in 2006, just do a Google search of “Heidi Diaz Kimkins” for more than you’ll ever want to know. Plus, I share great detail about my personal observations and experience with this dark saga in my lengthy and sometimes painful recount of this disappointing time early on in the history of my blog. I’m a better man today having gone through this ordeal, but it was a difficult road for me.
Here’s a quick glance at the Kimkins controversy in a nutshell:
– Heidi Diaz claimed she lost triple-digit weight–LIE!
– Heidi Diaz claimed to be “Kimmer,” “Brad Johnson,” “Kim Drake” and others–LIE!
– Heidi Diaz posted alleged before and after photos of herself–LIE!
– Heidi Diaz offered a “lifetime” membership to her web site–LIE!
– Heidi Diaz shared testimonials of “success stories” on her web site–LIE!
– Heidi Diaz shared photos of alleged Kimkins weight loss successes–LIE!
– Heidi Diaz told Woman’s World her diet was legit–LIE!
And if you’re interested in hearing from this habitual lying liar who lies, then I conducted a July 2007 interview in three parts here, here, and here. As I was interviewing “Kimmer” and realizing how she lied to cover up other lies she told and then seeing new revelations coming out about her in the weeks and months that followed, I just had to do a follow-up podcast featuring all the claims she made during my conversation with her and the evidence that proved otherwise. This was the only place anywhere online where people could hear the voice of Heidi Kimberly Diaz and this fateful interview would end up being a huge mistake on her part when it played a major role in the class action lawsuit filed in October 2007. Over three years later, a judgment has finally been handed down by Riverside County Superior Court Judge Rick Brown.
On Friday, October 29, 2010, the court entered a civil verdict against Heidi Diaz for fraud and false advertising. Some had hoped she would be held criminally liable for the damage she inflicted on so many people by serving time in jail for what she had done. But the judgment against her wasn’t a cakewalk either:
– $1,824,210.39 in restitution to class members
– $500,000 in punitive damages
– Attorney fees dating back to 2007
– A temporary restraining order freezing all of her assets
– Not allowed to contact, harass or cyberbully the plaintiffs or witnesses against her
PLUS, mandatory injunctive relief was ordered for all of her current and future web sites to state:
– She lied about her weight loss
– She lied about her before and after photos
– She lied about the testimonials she used on her web site
– She lied about the photos used with the testimonials (Russian brides)
– Low-calorie diets are dangerous to your health
THIS IS HUGE! After years of getting away with bilking innocent people out of their hard-earned money, Heidi Diaz is getting what’s coming to her right where it hurts. On top of all of this, it is estimated her own legal costs run upwards of $250,00-300,000, so she’s out nearly $3 million and her reputation as a “diet guru” is pretty much shot. GOOD! Justice is FINALLY served. If she fails to comply with the judge’s ruling, then Heidi Diaz could be arrested and thrown in jail. Something deep inside of me wants her to just try to disobey what the judge has ordered. Go ahead, make my day!
The attorney on behalf of the plaintiffs John Tiedt wants to let anyone who purchased a membership to Kimkins to know you are eligible for a refund and details about this will be coming in the next few weeks after the formal judgment is entered by November 19, 2010. Notification will be published in magazines as well as web sites, including the “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb” blog. I have a podcast interview scheduled with John Tiedt on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 4PM, so feel free to share any questions you may have for him by e-mailing LLVLC@gmail.com. The interview is scheduled to run 45-60 minutes and we’ll get all the sordid details about this nightmare soap opera from the lips of the attorney who worked tirelessly through all the lies, distortions, and roadblocks put up by Heidi Diaz fighting this case against her. It was a long time coming, but she got what was coming to her! We’ll share that interview at the beginning of Thursday’s podcast because you deserve to hear about this important case that impacted so many people in the low-carb community.
Incidentally, Woman’s World magazine who ran the front-cover story about Kimkins success Christin Sherburne and others has REFUSED to write a retraction of their June 2007 article despite finding out the truth. Why wouldn’t they want to warn their readers who may have been duped by Heidi Diaz? They hold some responsibility for convincing the public this diet was legitimate, so it should be their duty to inform that same public of the lies the Kimkins diet were based on. We’ll see if they agree to run the ad telling members of the class about the judgment in their favor since so many Woman’s World subscribers signed up for a membership after reading it in that magazine. DO THE RIGHT THING, WOMAN’S WORLD!
At the end of the chapter in my book about Kimkins, I provide five practical clues to help you find people who you can trust about giving you solid diet advice online. Yes, there are good people who are the antithesis of Heidi Diaz if you know what to look for:
1. They are willing to share their real names and photos.
2. They do not require you to pay to access their columns.
3. They tend to put themselves out there on YouTube and podcasts.
4. They can be seen in public and confirmed as real people.
5. They aren’t hiding behind a cloud of secrecy and deception.
Although this was a painful lesson in my own life having to be caught up in such an intricate web weaved by a woman with evil intentions, I think it’s made me a better man who constantly strives to live openly and ethically for the benefit of my readers. YOU deserve that and I strive to deliver it to you in all of my writings, interviews, and the people I associate myself with in sponsorship relationships. Because of Kimkins and my failure to do my due diligence in that matter, I have very strict expectations of the businesses I work with to insure they are a company with a product and/or service I can confidently put my name behind. So in a roundabout way, I’m glad this happened and so excited there’s a happy ending to share.