DAVID V’S GOLIATH
In a society that does not support bullying, large corporations will always use money and status to monopolize smaller entities.
Lee Brett; a professional pool player and highly sought-after instructor for the world’s largest pool league, battled this exact situation.
After a car accident that left him injured and unable to work, Lee received a settlement and brainstormed a new clothing brand, “American Hustler” in 2014. Originally planned for the pool playing industry, his vision has now grown to be a lifestyle brand across the globe, for the hustler who never quits!.
But this was not met without pressure from a larger entity. Larry Flynt, known for the Porn Magazine Hustler, along with his team of lawyers, began bullying Lee to give up his brand and filed against him getting his trademark. The costs to obtain a legal team in excess of $400,000 to defend himself was out of the realm of possibility. The belief in himself and his brand kept him pushing forward and never giving up.
Lee Brett the founder of American Hustler, is a world class instructor that has coached the Hong Kong national team, and several top players including Shane Van Boening, Darren Appleton, Jennifer Barretta, John Morra and many others. He is the author of “The Secret Art of Pool” instructional DVD and book series. Lee was the head referee for bonus ball, has commentated for the US Open 9-Ball Championships. Lee is sponsored by Simonis Cloth, Aramith Balls, and Tiger cues and tips.
Larry Claxton Flynt Jr. is worth $500 million, an American publisher and the president of Larry Flynt Publications. LFP mainly produces magazines, such as Hustler, and sexually graphic videos. Flynt has fought several high-profile legal battles involving the First Amendment and has unsuccessfully run for public office.
With the odds stacked against him, he began studying law for 18 hours a day to represent himself, losing friendships and his girlfriend in the process. With a combination of stress, anger and despair, Lee lost everything to push forward, despite having to go hungry and sleep in his car.
Quitting was not an option.
Deceit is only one word to describe the strategy Flynt’s lawyers attempted numerous times. Tactics including but not limited to: agreeing to terms, only to type up something different in hopes Lee would sign anyway; laughing on the phone saying they are going to steal his business; giving the constant run around and stretching the truth tightening timelines to make it near impossible to meet.
Unfortunately for them, Lee was motivated beyond anything to win and own what is rightfully his.
Driving across the USA, from Ohio to LA and back (2300 miles one way) just to meet a deadline. Lee would end up driving to LA 4 times (over 18,000 miles) Drive to Buffalo to try and settle, and back to LA for mediation (a 2700 mile trip).
3 years……3 years of going hungry, losing everything to keep fighting for something he believed in. Ironically, to be met with force from someone who cries ‘Freedom’. Perhaps freedom is only relative to those they specifically want. In the end, Lee was triumphant but not without some losses.
The brand is being re-built and re-launched, but this has been a slow process due to all resources being depleted, having to defend his brand.
Everyone hustles at some point in life, can you relate? American Hustler-the premium quality brand that refuses to quit.
Are you an American Hustler?
Patrick Chan seen here wearing an American Hustler hoodie during the WSOP final table on ESPN. Less than 2 months later, Flynt filed the federal lawsuit, all the publicity from this was lost.