Just days ago, the UFC heavyweight champion’s wife Kim Couture was granted a restraining order against Beard by a Las Vegas court. The order prevents Beard from going anywhere near the MGM Grand during this weekend’s fight events.
Affliction carries T-shirts under the Xtreme Couture label. The issue between the Coutures and Beard reportedly began when Kim Couture requested accounting statements of the line. According to Kim Couture’s application for protective order, Beard refused to cooperate and eventually turned to verbal threats. The Coutures cited that behavior along with Beard’s past felony record in court documents.
Because of Randy Couture’s status, the story was widely reported after first being broken by popular celebrity website TMZ.com.
In the last day or so, the story has taken on a larger significance in the MMA world, as recent reports have alleged that Beard’s felony record could end billionaire Donald Trump’s association with Affliction’s MMA promotional company. The reports stated that because of Trump’s status as gaming licensee in New Jersey, he would have to cut ties with Beard and Affliction, since gaming licensees are legally prohibited from conducting business with felons.
According to Trump’s right-hand man, Michael D. Cohen, who serves as Trump’s special counsel and Affliction Entertainment’s chief operating officer, such reports are erroneous.
“Anyway you slice it, it’s wrong and there should be a retraction,” he said. “Beard is not and never has been a shareholder, officer, director or board member of Affliction Entertainment.”
He states that there is a distinction between MMA brand Affliction Entertainment, and clothing company Affliction, Inc. Trump is only involved with the former while Beard is solely involved with the latter, meaning they have no business relationship at all.
“They are two totally separate companies,” he says. “Some of the partners of Affliction Inc. are part of Affliction Entertainment. Todd Beard is not and has never been one of those partners.”
Cohen says that Affliction Entertainment’s January event is still a go, and that Trump will be a part of it.
“Mr. Trump remains committed to continuing with Affliction Entertainment and becoming the premiere mixed martial arts league,” he said. “Mr. Trump is also looking forward to the January event.”
“He’s not in any jeopardy of even having his gaming license questioned as to his relationship with Affliction,” he added.
Beard’s lawyer Michael Bassiri said his client disputes the allegations of threatening Kim Couture, calling them “complete nonsense.”
“I think they took his statements incorrectly that there was any sort of physical harm implied,” he recently told The Orange County Register. “He didn't threaten them. It was only regarding a business relationship.”
On Friday afternoon, MMA news site MMAJunkie.com reported that Beard had resigned from Affliction, Inc., and would be seeking treatment for alcohol abuse and anger management.
Beard’s felony past includes charges of attempted forgery, illegal telemarketing, federal mail and wire fraud, and driving under the influence.
Randy Couture, meanwhile, defends his heavyweight title against Brock Lesnar in what is expected to be the biggest UFC event of all-time on Saturday night.
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