David Rutkauskas Apologizes, Will Drop Lawsuit

David Rutkauskas, CEO of Beautiful Brands International (BBI), has apologized profusely to those he bullied and insulted online, and has vowed to drop the defamation and tortious interference lawsuit BBI filed against UnhappyFranchisee.Com founder Sean Kelly.

In a statement posted on his DavidRutkauskas.Com blog and linked to from his @DavidRutkauskas Twitter account, Rutkauskas wrote:

I’m Sorry

June 12, 2013

To my family, friends, followers, colleagues, and mostly to Sean Kelly, his family as well as to Jonathan Fortman and his family, Dr. Steve Greene, and Teresa Knox…I’M PROFOUNDLY SORRY!

Over the last few months I’ve not been myself.  I’ve said many horrible, vulgar and hurtful things that I’m so ashamed of.  I know my apology can’t undo what I’ve said and can’t overcome the shame and embarrassment that I’ve caused, but from the bottom of my heart I want the world to know that I’m sorry!

Sean, I don’t agree with you, and I certainly don’t agree with the things you’ve accused me of doing, but you didn’t deserve my attacks and verbal assaults.  I’m sincerely sorry. To anyone else I have hurt by my outbursts I ask that you would forgive me.  I know sorry won’t make it go away, but my hope is that being sorry places us all on the path toward healing.
Nothing can excuse my behavior.  I would, however, like to explain somewhat about what led to it.  The last few months have been difficult.  I’ve been accused of wrongful things, and while I strongly disagree with what has been said, it has nonetheless hurt me and caused anger to build within me.  At the same time I nearly lost my father.  He suffered a major heart attack on March 12, 2013, that left him in a coma clinging to life.  This led me to make some terrible choices.  After MANY, MANY years of sobriety, I chose to drink away my pain.  Obviously this was such a poor choice that caused much more pain.  It resulted in approximately 6 weeks of extreme lows in my life.  I did and said things I can never take back.

Fortunately, with the love and help from MY family and friends I’ve found myself again, and I’m on the road to healing. Therefore I will be deactivating my twitter page, dropping my lawsuit and any claims against Sean Kelly to focus on my health and my family. I will now focus my energies on all of the wonderful partners we have, our Brands we own, and all of the fantastic franchisees of our brands around the world.
Again, I’m sincerely sorry to ALL and thank you for your support in getting better and moving forward.


Also Read:

ZivaGate: Tulsa World Editor Fueled Twitter Attacks on Blogger

If You Like Amy’s Baking Co., You’ll LOVE This CEO.

Why DAVID RUTKAUSKAS & ROBERT SARTIN Should Sue Themselves (Part 1) by Sean Kelly

How Franchisors Should – And Shouldn’t – Respond to Internet Criticism


CAMILLE’S SIDEWALK CAFE Franchise Complaints




Tags:  David Rutkauskas, Beautiful Brands International, BBI, David Rutkauskas Twitter, Robert Sartin, attorney Robert Sartin, Barrow & Grimm PC, Unhappy Franchisee lawsuit, Sean Kelly Lawsuit, David Rutkauskas lawsuit, BBI lawsuit, Beautiful Brands lawsuit, SLAPP lawsuit, jon Fortman, Jonathan Fortman

10 thoughts on “David Rutkauskas Apologizes, Will Drop Lawsuit

  • Skeptical

    I was in the middle of a big issue with David years ago and he told untruths about me to cover himself….
    It is refreshing to find out that he CAN say “I am sorry.”

    Money does strange things to people and often it is because of another issue or lack of character.


    His apology seems to have come due to him being backed into a wall.
    I hope that he sticks with his word and helps the people that are still active.

    I KNOW FOR SURE MANY PEOPLE lost a lot of money, respect for BBI, stress to their families and health due to a lack of consideration for OTHERS…..

    As for me……. I lost respect for him years ago due to him covering up what he knows was the TRUTH…….

  • SanFranDan

    David R:

    If by chance you happen to be reading posts on this website…… need to know a few things:

    1) MANY, MANY people have struggles, hardships and stress. For years. Many of these hardships could even be caused by people like YOU.

    2) My family has been enduring unfathomable stress do our involvement with another Franchise and it’s CEO. For years. It would NEVER occur to me to “openly” use twitter as a way of bullying people. Once I found this website, however, it gave me a place to write what I really thought.

    3) What people say in their “darkest moments” usually have a ring of truth to it. The disgusting tone of your “tweets” sound to me as if you really have some major underlying issues with people who may differ from your viewpoint. To bash Jews, women, short people, fat people, etc.,etc. shows a REAL lack of education on your part and actually a lot of ignorance. It reminds me of the Mel Gibson debacle many years ago. It hurt his career. Your tweets have hurt your career too and for you to think the way you do, whether sober or drunk…………you seriously need professional help.

    4) Sean Kelly is doing a great service to all the men & women out there who have signed on to be hard working Franchises to people like you. When you abuse your “power” as a CEO, then you are the one who suffers and you look like a fool.

    Things for you to ponder as you seek help for your problems.

  • Actions speak louder than words

    Amazing what one will do when backed into the corner.

    David has met his match and knows he will soon have more haters than followers. His apology is just a lot of bullshit, and I highly doubt that he decided to make this apology on his own. I do believe that his advisors did this for him as a last resort to try to save him from his stupid asinine juvenile self destruction behavior.

    He has no feelings for anyone but himself, and if he is sincere and truly wants to make amends, then he should help all of those who lost their restaurants because of his self righteous pretentious, attitude when we all asked for help.

    Let’s see him give up his car and extravagant lifestyle that we, the ones that lost our restaurants, gave him, or rather should I say he took from us.

    Actions speak louder than words, so unless he is will to do more than just a false apology to prove his sincerity about being sorry for his actions, I don’t think he should be forgiven.

  • Trisha Grabert

    I watched my father deteriorate until the skin fell off his bones from cancer when my franchisor plotted to do exactly what sleezebags do to vulnerable loyal franchisees caught in the web of a self-centered CEO.

    To be honest, I am a very compassionate person and your father being in a coma is not necessary to put you on a pedestal after showing bad character and selfishness.
    You could have chosen to vent about it, I am sure many resources became available for you as family and emotional support and bereavment. That is an issue aside from the facts. You use it as though nothing worse has ever happened to those you have harmed and as an EXCUSE to gain back some faith that your character can change?

    THEN, you award your family and support circle a medal of honor during an apology letter? That is pretty self-centered. The point is, this is not about YOUR healing YOUR alcohol problems and so forth that you perceive as the cause of your mean words. The lack of performance and promises to help with absolutely no acknowledged plan of exactly how you plan to achieve this is not enough to say you are sorry for what you describe as your moment of temporary insanity.

    Can you admit this to ALL your current franchisees in a press release? Can you admit that perhaps you had moments of temporary insanity when you caused many to lose everything or is it just too damn late for them that you had an ephiphany at the wrong time for THEM? Maybe half of them do not read about you. No one on this site demands you agree with them, but they demand resolutions. According to this letter, you still show a lack of problem solving skills. RE-WRITE it and correct all the selfish points you made that were all about YOUR HARDSHIPS and I suggest you do it now. How is that for some professional advice? We await.


  • Camille's franchisee

    I would like to say “thank you” to Sean for all that he has gone through to serve as a voice for all the Camille’s franchisees that have suffered immense loses due to being misled by the franchisor.

    His efforts, as painful as they have been, gave us Franchisees a voice that otherwise had fallen on deaf ears. Sean’s efforts also were successful in engaging David R. To show his true colors, and demonstrate the kind of person he is….

    For that, we are eternally grateful to Sean. With sincere thanks,

  • Franchizee

    Thanks to this website, we have an outlet to speak the truth and the feds have a way of listening in to see the corruption, moral hazard, unethical and bullying in the Franchisor world. The stealing of money, talent’s and livelihoods of people thinking they are working to better their lives, but only the franchisor and a few franchisee’s are doing great. The rest are ruined financially and in many cases ruins their lives through death and divorce. Thanks Sean for shedding light on a long held dark secret from the franchise world to what happens to franchisees.

  • know better

    David is a lying huckster who could care less about others and his apology is another lie.

    I worked with David and he showed no signs of being an alcoholic.

    Lies lies lies.

    He hasn’t felt an ounce of guilt bilking millions of dollars from hundreds of innocent people who fell into his net of lies. This is about money and using family and fake “diseases” to blame for his overwhelming paranoia.
    Do not believe.

  • Good for you, Sean.

    Also, congratulations to your lawyer, Mr. Fortman.

  • Thanks Mike Webster and to everyone who expressed their thanks and support on the website, by email & phone. The suit was dismissed yesterday morning.

    Thanks also to Jon Fortman and Kelly Spann of Fortman Law in Florissant, MO, and attorney Peter W. Brolick of Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison & Lewis, P.C. in Tulsa, OK.

    I hope that David Rutkauskas’ apology is sincere and that he is seeking the help he needs. I grew up in a family of both alcoholics and alcoholism professionals and counselors, so I’m quite familiar with the recovery process. I’m a bit troubled by the fact that David was acting out wildly on Sunday, declared that by Monday he had found himself, and announced that he was on the road to healing by Tuesday. In my experience, it is rarely that quick and that the problems are as easily tied to one event, such as his father’s heartattack.

    I am also concerned that David implies that the support of his friends and family will be enough to aid in his recovery. There is no mention of rehab or of AA. My father’s recovery started with a 28 day in-patient stay at Hazelden in MN. When he relapsed a year later, he checked himself back in to Hazelden for another month. For the next 3 decades he continued to attend AA faithfully, even after he had become prominent professional in the addiction field. If he were still here, I’m sure he would urge David to get professional, in-patient help.

    David’s mea culpa has been met with skepticism and even anger by many who have contacted me privately. I hope he is sincere both in his vow to improve things for the remaining franchisees and clients, and in his willingness to make amends. I think a clear indication of his sincerity will come by his willingness to reimburse me for legal expenses incurred in the course of his two lawsuit filings.

    Mr. Rutkauskas’ speedy reimbursement of the expenses he forced upon me will create a clear and positive affirmation that he is truly sorry, and wishes to make amends for at least some of the damage he caused. If he isn’t willing to at least cover the expenses that resulted from his legal attack, he’ll validate those who claim this is just another self-serving manipulation.

    I hope he comes through this as he says, and proves the skeptics among us wrong.

  • BBD (Broke By David)

    I would like to see you reimbursed but the true test will be to reimburse the hundreds of people he intentionally misled.
    I am out $750,000 in monetary pain, the physical and physological are too high to mention.

    Is there a statute of limitations on lawsuits againse this type of fraud on people?


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