Texas AG Ken Paxton sues DFW-area influencer Brittany Dawn over alleged fitness plan scheme – Houston Chronicle

The Instagram page for Brittany Dawn, a social media influencer from the Dallas area. 
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks outside the U.S. Supreme Court on November 01, 2021 in Washington, DC.
The Texas attorney general’s office is suing a social media influencer accused of selling fitness programs with deceptive promises of personalized advice and endangering people with eating disorders, according to a lawsuit filed on Feb. 1.
The lawsuit filed in Dallas County names Brittany Dawn, a former fitness influencer from Fort Worth with over 400,000 followers on Instagram, where she describes herself as a “Jesus seeker” and promotes a Christian-themed retreat. Dawn built a social media following with glossy photos of fitness routines and inspirational quotes before marketing her own fitness programs beginning in 2014.
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Thousands of people paid $92 to $300 for custom nutrition advice and access to Dawn as “your coach, your confidant, your biggest supporter & friend,” according to the lawsuit.
But when customers emailed Dawn with questions, many allege they received only generic responses such as: “You’ve got this babe!”
Dawn was also accused of failing to provide the promised “individualized” nutritional guidance, which the lawsuit alleges affected at least 14 customers with eating disorders, some of whom attempted unhealthy diets.
In 2019, after over 1,000 people joined a Facebook group dedicated to complaints about Dawn’s programs, the influencer posted a video issuing an apology.
“I jumped into an industry that had no instruction manual … I’m doing the best that I can to the best of my ability,” said Dawn on a Feb. 2019 Good Morning America segment about the complaints. “I’m using this as a tool to learn and to grow as a professional and to move forward.”
Subsequently, Dawn announced she would transition from fitness to Christianity-focused content.
The lawsuit, filed in Dallas County district court by Attorney General Ken Paxton, asks for refunds for customers and $10,000 in damages per violation of the state’s deceptive trade practices act.
Paxton is campaigning for reelection as attorney general in the Republican primary in March.
Charlie Zong is a reporter on the digital desk. A Houston native, he joined the Houston Chronicle as a summer 2021 intern. He is a senior studying philosophy, computer science and journalism at Duke University.
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