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Breach of Contract Lawsuit: Fitness Trainers Sue Oprah's Harpo, Inc.

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By Kamika Dunlap on February 26, 2010 12:02 PM

To stay fabulous and fit, Oprah hired a husband and wife team of trainers.

Dina Castillo and Frank Nunez were asked create a customized fitness program for Oprah and her employees. They were even invited to participate in an Oprah Radio XM program hosted by Winfrey's former personal trainer Bob Green.

The couple claims they helped the talk show queen feel the burn, but her company refused to pay them for the months of training work they had done.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the workout program the married owners of Unicus Fitness designed for Oprah and the Harpo staff of 341 employees came to a halt.

Their contract for the "O Fitness Challenge" which was going to be turned into a segment for the "Oprah" TV show was cancelled after the couple sent an email to their clients announcing their March 2009 appearance on the program, according to the complaint.

The couple was informed by Harpo officials that the mass e-mail violated a confidentiality agreement with the talk show's parent company. The couple was let go.

As a result the trainers have filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Oprah's Harpo, Inc. for their unpaid work. They are seeking damages and to be compensated for the fair value of the services performed.

In general a breach of contract is one party's failure, without a legally valid excuse, to live up to his or her responsibilities under the contract.

Harpo attorneys claimed that Unicus provided their services voluntarily and that there was no formal business arrangement.