Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley sued over makeup line by RonAnn Meyers

Real Hosuewives of Orange County's Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley

Is it just me or does it seem like 80% of all court cases involve reality stars? And I think half of those involve either Gretchen Rossi or Slade Smiley.

The latest legal issues for the handsome Real Housewives of Orange County couple involve Gretchen Rossi’s cosmetics line Gretchen Christine Beaute and her former partner, makeup artist RonAnn Meyers. On April 13, 2011 Meyers filed a 37-page lawsuit against Gretchen and Slade asking for more than $100,000 in damages for “breach of oral contract,” “Fraudulent conspiracy” and “fraud/deceit” among other things.

Gretchen Rossi's Gretchen Christine Beaute makeup line
^ Banner graphic from

Here is a brief summary of the charges from the opening of the lawsuit, followed by the bullet points:

From February 2009 onward, Rossi and Smiley engaged in an elaborate scheme to defraud Plaintiff out of her interest in the Makeup Line. Rossi and Smiley conspired to exploit Plaintiff’s experience in, knowledge of and contacts within the makeup industry to create, design, launch and promote “Gretchen Christine Beaute.” Once Rossi and Smiley obtained what they needed from Plaintiff, they planned to “cut her off without a dime.” Their plan was premeditated.

• RonAnn Meyers was Gretchen Rossi’s friend and makeup artist for seven years

• RonAnn mentioned to Gretchen in February of 2009 that she had plans to launch a new makeup line called “Winks.” Gretchen expressed interest and the two reached an oral agreement on a partnership splitting ownership, control, and profits 50/50.

• Each of the women deposited $5,000 into a joint account, which was later cleared out by Gretchen when there was only $2,100 left in it, leaving RonAnn with overage fees and the task of closing the account.

• Within a month of striking up the deal, Gretchen and Slade “unilaterally moved to change the name of the makeup line” and “Winks” was no more.

• Gretchen and Slade would then circumvent RonAnn by signing a deal with Lady Burd Cosmetics directly, a company that they only knew about because of RonAnn’s business relationship with them.

• A lot of the evidence of premeditation is based on the testimony of Gretchen’s (former?) assistant David Sanders, who says Gretchen instructed him on numerous occasions to leave RonAnn’s name off of bank accounts, trademark applications and more.

RonAnn’s appearance on the show is mentioned numerous times in the documents to back up her claims that she had a partnership with Gretchen. From the lawsuit:

In June and July 2009, Bravo camera crews filmed Plaintiff and Rossi discussing the Makeup Line. In both episode, Plaintiff is identified as “Ron-Ann, Gretchen’s Business Partner.” Rossi describes Plaintiff as her “partner,” adding that the pair have been “… working [their] butts off …” getting their business off the ground.

Here’s a photo of RonAnn and Gretchen from – be sure to check out the caption!

Gretchen Rossi and RonAnn Meyers together on Real Housewives of Orange County

Of course the big question here is, how in the world could half ownership in the Gretchen Christine Beaute makeup line be worth $100,000?!? Here’s how RonAnn’s lawyers break it down:

As a direct and/or proximate result of Rossi’s material breach of the oral agreement, Plaintiff has suffered damages in excess of $100,000.00, including, but not limited to, pre- and post-judgment interest according to law, costs of suit, and attorneys’ fees incurred by Plaintiff in pursuing this litigation, all in an amount according to proof at trial. Plaintiff has been, and will be further, forced to incur additional expenses to cure the defects caused by Rossi’s breach.

So basically RonAnn is suing for the legal fees incurred from suing plus her initial $5,000? I don’t now a lot about makeup lines (or else Gretchen might have come knockin’ on my door!) but I can’t imagine Gretchen Christine Beaute is raking in the big bucks, right? In my opinion Gretchen needs to give RonAnn her $5,000 plus a little for legal fees and call it a day.

Makeup artist RonAnn Meyeres from Hush. Hush. Hair Salon

No matter what you think of Gretchen, it’s hard to deny that her makeup usually looks pretty fantastic. So if you live in the Los Angeles area and need someone to do your makeup, head on down to Hush. Hush. Hair Salon and ask for RonAnn! Tell ’em you heard about ’em on and receive a 0% discount through the end of April!

Gretchen and Slade Photo: Robin /