A Strongman Scorned

A local bodybuilder sues Pat Robertson over a weight-loss shake

Busch is clear on his motivation for the suit. "This isn't about God or religion, this is about business," he says. "I just want to get P-A-I-D." To date, Busch has netted $42,000, the amount Hawk, GNC and Basic Organics provided to be dropped from the suit. GNC has removed the shake from its stores, a result of what Isakoff says is an unrelated dispute between the chain and Basic Organics. Busch won the settlement on his own, having fired Davis. "I'm like My Cousin Vinny dealing with this crap," Busch says. "I don't have a law degree, and I don't know what I'm doing."

Robertson, however, does have a law degree and doesn't show any intention of settling. Isakoff signaled his intent to play hardball in a letter to Davis, bringing up a rape allegation made against Busch nine years ago. Busch says the accusation was completely fabricated and no charges were ever filed.

Nevertheless, Busch sometimes seems to go out of his way to damage his own credibility. His Web site is covered with profanity-laced diatribes against Robertson, Hawk and others; CNN host Anderson Cooper, who declined to do a story on Busch, is thoroughly lambasted.

Phil Busch, before (inset) and after
Phil Busch, before (inset) and after

His suit against Jon Stewart is based on the fact that 700 Club footage featuring Busch was briefly used in a Daily Show sketch ridiculing Robertson's shake. The suit against Edwards alleges that Edwards promised to develop an exclusive line of nutritional supplements with Busch and then backed out. Edwards, the genial president of New Choice Inc. of Dallas, says he is mystified by the claim. "If [Busch] shows you some kind of agreement or some kind of conversation or some picture some of my people used, I'll fall over dead," Edwards says.

But Busch isn't bothered by appearances. He is convinced that even without a lawyer, he'll eventually bring down Robertson. "They're going to take him away like Jimmy Bakker, with the handcuffs and crying and shit."

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