The owner of a popular Twin Cities food truck asks a Hennepin County judge to stop two sisters from publicly accusing him of leading a cult.
Bad Rooster owner Soulaire Allerai filed a libel suit against sisters Kelly Ring Abedi and Angela Marie Hummelgard in July. The story of the alleged food truck cult has since gained attention as Bad Rooster continues to tour local breweries and events selling fried chicken. Some sellers were contacted by the sisters to no longer do business with Allerai, who claimed financial losses as a result.
During a virtual hearing on Friday afternoon, Allerai’s attorney requested a temporary injunction while the trial is ongoing and Judge Joseph Klein took it under advisement.
Meanwhile, recent court documents filed by the sisters’ attorneys reveal that others claim Allerai leads a cult they either personally left or lost a relative to.
Allerai is the Spiritual Director of Living Faith Spiritual Community and has over 100,000 Facebook followers. She founded the Soulful Journey and a wellness center at a Minnetonka address shared with Living Faith, and she launched Bad Rooster in 2019.
Earlier this summer, the sisters began posting on the food truck’s Facebook page and writing reviews about how the company funds a cult they lost their relationship with their mother in and were once members of. early 2000s.
Living Faith and Bad Rooster have partnered for events beginning in 2020. Allerai posted in May on Facebook that due to the pandemic wellness center closure, they would be using food truck funds to cover the rent.
The sisters detail in court documents that they would attend a spiritual group where Allerai would channel God, whom she referred to as “G.” Their mother is still a follower and they haven’t had a relationship with her in over a decade.
Allerai’s attorney, Steven Liening, says Allerai and the food truck are not responsible for their “inability to get along” with their mother, and their claims that Bad Rooster is “tearing families apart” are false and cause financial loss to the company.
“Please stop the bleeding,” Liening told the judge, adding that the bogus accusations are “spreading like wildfire” and reaching as far as the UK.
Liening said an injunction would also be in the interests of defendants by limiting “the damages they may be liable for in the long run.” No specific financial disclosure detailing a drop in revenue has been filed in court.
Lawyers representing the sisters say their clients have the right to share their opinions and personal experience with Allerai on social media and in the news. They argued in court Friday that ultimately an injunction would infringe on their First Amendment rights.
“It’s simply a matter of freedom of expression … speaking out against an activity that a person considers exploitative or manipulative,” said attorney Stacey Sever, who represents Abedi.
Affidavits filed on behalf of Sever and William Cumming, representing Hummelgard, list at least seven other people who have left Allerai’s spiritual groups or say a loved one is still active in the groups and they have a strained relationship because of this.
But Allerai’s attorney said the family issues predate the food truck. He noted that Hummelgard told a local TV station that she hadn’t spoken to her mother since 2011, but Bad Rooster opened for the past three years.
Liening said there was no evidence of illegal activity such as physical or sexual abuse. He said the sisters could not hide dishonest conduct behind opinions and continue to share “scandalous rumours”.
“The fact that there are a lot of affidavits doesn’t change anything,” he said. “There are no allegations of crime here or abuse of any kind.”
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