Liver King has been sued for $A40 million by fans after he admitted using steroids while claiming his toned physique was down to a diet of raw meat.
The influencer – whose real name is Brian Johnson – initially claimed he achieved his buff body by eating raw liver – before he admitted he was taking performance-enhancing drugs, The Sun reported.
Since the revelation, Christopher Altomare, of New York, has sued Johnson and his companies – Ancestral Supplements, LLC and The Fittest Ever, LLC for the massive sum.
Altomare claimed the bodybuilder falsely advertised his supplement products and encouraged a “dangerous and life-threatening diet” – causing “severe” food-borne illnesses.
Johnson’s brand promoted the Nine Ancestral Tenets lifestyle and a “primal fare” diet – which encourages the consumption of raw liver, spleen, pancreas, hearts and kidneys.
“Liver King persuaded millions of consumers to adhere to, or abide by, the Eat Tenet by repeatedly making representations to consumers that his near-perfect physique, and optimal health, were solely attributable to his adoption of the Ancestral Tenets, predominantly the Eat Tenet,” the lawsuit said, according to the New York Post.
Johnson, who lives in Austin, Texas, became famous for his toned body and unusual eating habits in August 2021 when he began sharing insights into his everyday life.
He initially denied using steroids, telling his fans how he “stays away from that stuff”.
He told his fans they too could become buff by following his diet and hitting the gym.
But the dad-of-two admitted to taking steroids after being accused by another bodybuilder of using performance-enhancing drug.
Johnson later apologised for “misleading” fans in a video posted on YouTube.
The 44-year-old told his followers that he has experimented with testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH).
In his lawsuit, Altomare is claiming he and other fans wouldn’t have paid for Johnson’s products if they had known about his steroid use.
Despite the current lawsuit, Johnson claimed his businesses are doing fine.
“The Liver King brand has had nothing to do with my business success,” he claimed in a video.
“My companies were already kicking a**, already successful before the Liver King public figure, growing at 50 per cent year over year and still growing at the same pace after.”
He added: “I fully own that I f***ed up.
“All I can do is take extreme ownership right now, be better and lead myself to a better life as a better human.”
The bodybuilder admitted to using steroids after growing online scrutiny of the bodybuilder and leaked emails that showed him discussing his drug use.
In an hour-long video posted on the YouTube channel “More Plates More Dates” which is dedicated to working out whether bodybuilders are “natty [natural] or not”, the host, known only as Derek, said he unearthed the emails.
The correspondence showed Johnson confessing he wanted to grow the “Liver King” brand and admitting to spending a sizeable £9,000 a month on HGH.
The emails are said to have been sent to an unnamed coach in 2021, the same year the Liver King started posting on Instagram and building up his fanbase of more than 1.7million followers.
Many were quick to blast the muscleman – with some hoping it would encourage other fitness influencers to be honest about their steroid use.
This story first appeared in The Sun and was republished with permission.