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Nu Skin exec files defamation suit against ex-husband

Published: Monday, May 21 2012 7:56 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — A Nu Skin Enterprises executive filed a lawsuit Monday, suing an ex-husband for defamation.

Sandra Tillotson, who founded Provo-based Nu Skin and serves as senior vice president and director of the multilevel marketing, personal care and pharmaceutical products company, claims her ex-husband Diederik van Nederveen Meerkerk recently published harmful information about her on his website.

The information has since been taken down, but was viewed by more than 13,000 people and "adversely affected (Tillotson's) professional career and reputation," documents filed Monday in 3rd District Court state. The two divorced in 2000.

The lawsuit details only a portion of the information that was publicized, in which van Nederveen alleges Tillotson was "engaged in criminal conduct, conduct that is incompatible with the exercise of a lawful business, trade, profession, or office, and being unchaste."

Van Nederveen also represented to the public that Tillotson "used corporate aircraft to transport illegal drugs to Asia, that the business she founded is an illegal pyramid scheme, and that she previously worked as a prostitute," the lawsuit states.

Tillotson said in the suit that the claims are not true and that van Nederveen posted them maliciously and with intent to harm her reputation.

Tillotson, 55, claims in the lawsuit that she was forced to resign from the board of directors at Nu Skin and has "suffered significant monetary damages" as a result of the statements published online. Tillotson filed a stalking injunction against the Dutch national in early May after she said a restraining order failed to keep him from contacting her.

Van Nederveen was trying to blackmail Tillotson to get money from her, she claims in the lawsuit. He allegedly told her recently that he would publish a book about her unless he was paid $50 million.

Van Nederveen's website, www.diederikvannederveen.com, now contains self-promoting material pertaining to his modeling and acting career.

Attempts to reach van Nederveen's attorney were unsuccessful.

Tillotson is seeking at least $60 million from van Nederveen, as she claims a loss of income. Bloomberg Businessweek reports Tillotson receives an annual salary and compensation of $816,966. Additionally, she claims in the suit that shares of the publicly traded Nu Skin have recently dropped due to communication between van Nederveen and "Wall Street insiders."

E-mail: wleonard@desnews.com

Twitter: wendyleonards

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