The Dallas Morning News
Judge sets restrictions on influencer’s trial
Texas social media celebrity barred from using evidence she hasn’t already disclosed
A Texas influencer will be somewhat restricted in the evidence she can produce at her upcoming trial for deceptive business practices, a Dallas County judge ruled Thursday.
Social media personality Brittany Dawn Davis has been sued by the state over a fitness plan Texas officials say violated consumer protection laws and misled followers with eating disorders.
The trial — set to begin next week in Dallas County — will center around Davis’ business, Brittany Dawn Fitness, which billed itself a personalized health and fitness coaching service.
But the state says Davis failed to provide individualized coaching and check-ins, as promised.
And now, the state says, she has refused to turn over key evidence, including names of customers, payments received and proof of coaching.
For example, Davis provided documentation for roughly $169,000 in payments from customers, according to the state. But deposits made to her business Paypal account topped $1.5 million. Davis identified 1,638 customers, but the state says it believes there were thousands more.
Assistant Attorney General James Holian sought to bar Davis from testifying that she provided personalized coaching to most clients.
Dallas County Judge Monica Purdy’s order did not go that far. Instead, Davis will be restricted from producing documents during the trial that she has not already disclosed.
Davis’ attorney, Calvin Mclean, said a web hosting company Davis used deleted most of her business records.
“Our client has produced everything within her custody and control,” Mclean said at the hearing, accusing the state of a “stunt.”
The Texas attorney general’s office began receiving complaints about Davis in 2019 as customers sought refunds, often unsuccessfully.
On social media, Davis positioned herself as having overcome eating disorders with nutrition and exercise, the state says, leading clients to believe she was trained to address such conditions.
A former customer, who at one point weighed less than 80 pounds, was quoted in the lawsuit saying she chose Davis because she had advertised herself as an “eating disorder soldier.” Another said she nearly passed out from inadequate nutrition.
One woman reached out to Davis pleading for help. “I truly need guidance, help, the right information and support right now currently have an eating disorder, horrible body image views am underweight for my height.”
Davis replied, “Great! Welcome to the #teambrittanydawn family.”
Davis denies accepting customers with eating disorders, the lawsuit says, but at least 14 customers who sought refunds mentioned eating disorders in their complaints.
In recent months, Davis has shifted her focus on social media platforms from fitness to faith, often posting inspirational and Christian content. She has retained a large following, including 473,000 followers on Instagram and 1.2 million on Tiktok.
Texas is seeking between $250,000 and $1 million in penalties and court fees.