Weight loss brand Nutrisystem has confirmed it has dropped troubled football great Lawrence Taylor.
Taylor, who was arrested yesterday for allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old, was signed by the company last April.
"Since 1972, Nutrisystem has been a respected leader in health and wellness and we are deeply protective of the reputation of our brand," the company said, in a statement. "We are shocked and saddened by these very serious allegations against Lawrence Taylor. Based on the severity of these allegations, Nutrisystem has made the decision to sever our relationship with Mr. Taylor effective immediately."
Whether Nutrisystem can legally get out of its contract with Taylor without paying him is unknown. A company spokesperson did not respond when asked if the contract had a morals clause.
Taylor's lawyer, Arthur Aidala, has denied that his client has done anything wrong and that he will fully fight the allegations.
As of 7:30 a.m. ET on Friday, Taylor's agent Mark Lepselter told CNBC that he hadn't officially heard from Nutrisystem.
Despite a heavy sports roster that includes the likes of Don Shula, Dan Marino, Chris Berman and Billie Jean King, the company hasn't been doing all that well.
Earlier this week, it reported that it earned less money($150.7 million) in the first three months of 2010 than the first three months of 2009 ($151 million), despite the better economic outlook.
The company said it spent nearly $10 million more on marketing in the first quarter of this year versus last year, primarily due to the increase in advertising rates.
TMZ first reportedthe story.
UPDATE: Taylor's agent Mark Lepselter said he heard about the severing "in real time like everyone else" and has yet to have "substantive conversations with Nutrisystem officials."
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