Since she claimed victory on Australia’s first season of Masterchef in 2009, Julie Goodwin’s beaming smile has frequently popped up in magazines and on TV shows and commercials.
However, she’s considering taking legal action against a diet suppressant company that’s allegedly using her image without her permission.
In December, the 45-year-old shared the details of her recent 20kg weight loss in The Australian Women’s Weekly. Goodwin was adamant she had not followed any kind of “stupid, sad diet” — rather, her weight loss was an upshot of her increasingly busy schedule, and not something she’d been purposefully working towards.
Now, Goodwin claims diet pill company Garcinia Total has used the photos from her AWW feature in online advertisements that claim she has used and endorses their product.
“Please be aware there is a total bullshit ad in circulation,” the chef and cookbook author posted on her public Facebook page over the weekend.
"I have nothing to do with it, it's lies and propaganda and the very last thing I would ever endorse. Please don't give it the time of day. It's libel."
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph today, the mum of three stressed she would never advocate "magic bullet solutions" for anything.
“I have never, would never and will never endorse a weight-loss supplement ... I am devastated to have my name and image put against this type of product," she told the newspaper.
Watch: We went on a date with celebrity chef Manu Feildel - here's what we learned. (Post continues after video.)
Goodwin has clearly been rattled by the incident, but her Facebook supporters had her back.
"It's not a compliment, it's insulting and a complete lie. You look great Julie, and I'm glad it's got nothing to do with this rubbish," one fan commented.
"Good on you for fighting this! We need more ambassadors like you promoting health and speaking out about this rubbish."
A key ingredient of Garcinia Total products is extract of garcinia cambogia, an Indonesian tropical fruit, which is said to suppress appetite. However, diet pills containing garcinia cambogia have been reportedly linked to hospitalisation and liver problems. (Post continues after gallery. Images: Facebook/Masterchef.)
Just yesterday we shared the story of Australian man Matthew Whitby, who almost died of liver failure after using a protein powder with green tea extract and "possibly a diet supplement containing garcinia cambogia," as reported by the ABC.
It's no wonder Julie Goodwin is concerned that having her image linked to the product could damage her reputation - and potentially cause people harm.
“I’ve been questioned and my integrity has been brought into question and even worse than that, there have been some people going and looking for these products off the back of this endorsement," she told the Daily Telegraph.
A timely reminder, as ever, that you should take everything you see online with a grain of salt.
Have you ever used a supplement like Garcinia Total?