St. Petersburg chemist sues actress Lindsay Lohan over self-tanning formula

TAMPA — Not everyone is glowing about a new fake tan spray that actress Lindsay Lohan claims to have invented.

A lawsuit filed in Tampa federal court says Lohan and a Nevada woman stole the formula for Sevin Nyne from a St. Petersburg chemist named Jennifer Sunday.

Lohan launched the tanning mist spray this summer, taking credit for co-creating it over the past three years with Lorit Simon, a Las Vegas businesswoman who air-brushes tans for celebrities.

Impossible, says Sunday's attorney, Marcia Cohen, who told the St. Petersburg Times that her client only recently completed the ingredients used in Sevin Nyne.

"We are certainly looking for the profits that are being generated right now from that product," Cohen said Monday. "If Ms. Lohan and Ms. Simon and their companies and their shareholders are profiting from the theft of my client's formula and are profiting from that product, my client is entitled to those proceeds."

A publicist for Lohan couldn't be reached Monday, and Simon didn't respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Sunday is suing Lohan, Simon, and Simon's company for breach of contract, theft of trade secrets, civil conspiracy, intentional interference with contractual relations and deceptive and unfair trade practices.

Simon signed a confidentiality agreement in January with Sunday's company, White Wave International Labs. A copy of the agreement was included in the lawsuit. The suit says Simon and Sunday had been negotiating over samples of the tanning mist, but the sides couldn't agree on a price.

"The next thing we know, Lorit Simon and Lindsay Lohan are partnering and Ms. Lohan is taking credit for developing this formula, which she indeed had no role in," Cohen said.

Cohen said Sunday and Lohan have never met.

Simon told Sunday that she had a friend who would help publicize and market the sunless tanning product, which Simon's company would distribute, according to Cohen.

The tanning mist ingredients include goji berry, caramel, Chardonnay extracts and a sugar-coconut base, according to published reports.

Sevin Nyne launched this summer at Sephora. It retails for $35, according to the store's Web site. Lohan calls it her "sunless secret." She named the product, she says, after her lucky numbers.

Sunday graduated from Eckerd College in 1999, her Web site says. She worked as a pharmaceutical analytical chemist after college, before spending time in genetic research at Shriners Hospital in Tampa.

She later launched her own personal care product company. For the past five years, the site says, Sunday focused on creating indoor tanning products.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this story. Kevin Graham can be reached at kgraham@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3433.

St. Petersburg chemist sues actress Lindsay Lohan over self-tanning formula 07/06/09 [Last modified: Friday, July 10, 2009 5:28pm]

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