Kim Kardashian’s pal Jonathan Cheban sues BBQ sauce company for $20m over claims bottle sliced hand

Kim Kardashian’s friend Jonathan Cheban - also known by “Foodgod” - has sued a Korean barbeque sauce company for $20m over claims the glass bottle sliced his hand open.

The social media influencer, 49, claimed he was injured by a bottle of San-J’s Korean barbeque sauce, according to court documents obtained by TMZ. Cheban reportedly purchased the bottle from a grocery store in Florida in October 2020 and stored it in his refrigerator, before taking it out a few hours later when he was making dinner.

In the lawsuit, he alleged that the bottle “inexplicably exploded” when he took it out of the fridge, causing a large gash in his hand and “significant blood loss”.

The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star included photos from the alleged incident in the lawsuit, in which he claimed that he never opened the bottle before it burst. Instead, Cheban said the bottle’s seal was still intact before his hand was allegedly cut.

Cheban also claimed that the cut was close to “major arteries in his wrist” and that he had to receive numerous stitches in his hand. Nearly three years after the alleged incident, the influencer said he still suffers from nerve damage and ongoing pain in his hand.

As a result, Cheban said that he’s lost the “ability to use his hand in his social media posts, in his advertisements, and in his ability to sponsor various food items,” according to court documents. He is now suing the manufacturer of San-J’s Korean barbeque sauce, as well as the distributor and the store he bought it from, for $20m.

Cheban - who legally changed his name to “Foodgod” in 2019 - is known for his several appearances on Keeping Up with the Kardashians and its spinoffs: Kourtney and Kim Take New York, Kourtney and Kim Take Miami, and Kourtney and Khloe Take The Hamptons. He met Kardashian more than a decade ago at a party hosted by Brittny Gastineau, the daughter of former New York Jets player Mark Gastineau.

The social media influencer boats 3.8m followers on Instagram, where he shares photos and videos of unique cuisine. In a 2021 profile with the New York Post, it was revealed that the former publicist makes an estimated $30,000 per month on each social media endorsement.

Cheban joined Celebrity Big Brother UK in January 2016 for its 17th season, but voluntarily left the show within days. In August 2020, two men allegedly stole a $250,000 Richard Mille watch at gunpoint from Cheban in New Jersey. Federal authorities in New York City brought charges against the alleged perpetrator, Victor Rivera, in November that year.

The Independent has contacted representatives for Cheban and San-J’s Korean barbeque sauce for comment.