CBD gummy hoax has no relation to ‘Shark Tank’

Shark tank sharks share their most memorable pitches

After 10 seasons and 2,000 pitches, sharks of “Shark Tank” are talking about the best, worst, and funniest pitches they have ever heard.

Harrison Hill, USA TODAY

Claim: Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary invested in CBD gums created by contestants Donna and Rosy Khalife

A viral scam falsely claims Mr. Wonderful of Shark Tank, Kevin O’Leary, to sell a CBD supplement.

The advertisement, disguised as a news article, describes how entrepreneurs Donna and Rosy Khalife struck a historic $ 2.5 million deal with all six investors in ABC’s “Shark Tank”.

“Apparently the Khalife sisters invented a new Keoni CBD Gummies formula that can immediately and permanently stop nicotine cravings,” it says.

The website has a logo that reads Entertainment Today Insider News, but any attempts to navigate the website will result in a sales page for the gummy bears.

Although not explicitly named, O’Leary’s photos are featured prominently in the ad.

But neither O’Leary nor the Khalifes work with the brand at the center of this advertisement.

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USA TODAY emailed Wellness Brands which claims they own Keoni.

Khalife sisters are not associated with the rubbers

Rosy Khalife told USA TODAY that she and her sister have no relationship with this product and have never put CBD gums on “Shark Tank”.

“We get dozens of messages about these rubbers every week and we want people to know the truth,” the sisters wrote in a statement. “It’s frustrating that this scam has been going on for months.”

The Khalife sisters appeared on Shark Tank in 2014 to introduce their product, Surprise Ride. Surprise Ride is a monthly subscription service that provides educational activities for children.

While they couldn’t reach an agreement on their first appearance, they accepted an offer from O’Leary on ABC’s spin-off show “Beyond the Tank” in 2016. According to a 2016 press release from Surprise Ride, that deal marked a historic moment for Shark Tank when an investor first approached a previous candidate with a business offer.

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According to the Surprise Ride website, both sisters continue to work as co-founders of the subscription service.

Image of O’Leary with gummy bears has been changed

The ad uses an altered promotional image showing O’Leary and two women holding up large packs of CBD gums.

The original unaltered photo did not contain any CBD gums. It was taken outside of a Wine & Design paint-and-sip store. The franchise headquarters posted the picture on Twitter on July 17, 2017.

Unlike Keoni CBD gummies, Wine & Design was featured on Shark Tank in 2017 and accepted a deal from O’Leary.

USA TODAY couldn’t find any evidence that Keoni CBD gums have any relationship with Shark Tank

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O’Leary did not respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment.

In March, Lead Stories discovered that an almost identical article with a different rubber name was a joke.

Our rating: wrong

Based on our research, we are FALSE the claim that Shark Tank’s O’Leary invested in CBD gums made by contestants Donna and Rosy Khalife. Rosy Khalife confirmed that she and her sister have no relationship with the product. A viral article promoting the wrong story is a misleading advertisement. The O’Leary promotional image of the rubbers has been digitally altered and there is no evidence that the product is associated with “Shark Tank”.

Our fact check sources:

  • Rosy Khalife, July 29, telephone interview and email exchange with USA TODAY
  • Surprise Ride via YouTube, August 26, 2014, Donna Khalife and Rosy Khalife from Surprise Ride on Shark Tank
  • Providence College, March 23, 2016, Update: Rosy Khalife ’13 and sister make “Shark Tank” history “
  • ABC via YouTube, March 23, 2016, Second Chance from Surprise Ride – Beyond the Tank
  • Surprise Ride via // PR Newswire, March 23, 2016, Surprise Ride makes “Shark Tank” story in ABC’s “Beyond the Tank”
  • Surprise Ride, accessed July 29, via Surprise Ride
  • WineAndDesignHQ, July 17, 2017, tweet
  • Heavy, 02/26/2020, Wine & Design on the ‘Shark Tank’ update: Where is the company today?
  • Lead Stories, March 19, fact check: Khalife Sisters have NO CBD gums on TV’s “Shark Tank”

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Our fact-checking work is partially supported by a Facebook grant.