LOS ANGELES — Former baseball star Steve Garvey did not know that he was making false claims when he said people could use a weight-loss product and eat “forbidden foods” such as buttered biscuits and ribs, his lawyer said Tuesday.
Garvey believed the product worked after trying it himself and the claims he made in infomercials endorsing the Enforma weight-loss system were scripted, attorney Edward Glynn Jr. said during closing arguments in the non-jury trial before U.S. District Judge Gary A. Feess.
“He tried it, and he believed in it,” Glynn said of his client, who no longer promotes Enforma products.
The Federal Trade Commission is suing the former Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres first baseman for the $1.1 million he received for endorsing Enforma products in infomercials in 1999 and 2000.
In advertisements, Enforma Natural Products Inc. claimed the system could block fat from being absorbed and increase the body’s capacity to burn it off.
The claims were false, the FTC said.
FTC lawyer David P. Frankel had said Garvey made “outrageous” claims during the commercials that were broadcast almost 48,000 times in the United States.
Frankel quoted Garvey as telling viewers:
“Look at all these delicious supposedly forbidden foods — barbecued chicken and ribs, buttered biscuits. Foods you can eat when you crave them, without guilt, without worry, and it’s all because of a few little capsules.”