Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop calls lawsuit over exploding vagina-scented candle ‘frivolous’

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop calls lawsuit over exploding vagina-scented candle ‘frivolous’

A man in Texas is suing Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle company Goop Inc. over a vagina-scented candle that he says “exploded” and became “engulfed in high flames” after burning for a few hours.

In the class-action complaint filed Monday, Colby Watson said he purchased a $75 candle called “This Smells Like My Vagina” from Goop’s website in January. Watson said he lit the candle for the first time on his nightstand in February when it allegedly “exploded” and became “engulfed in high flames” after burning for about three hours, according to the court document.

A warning on the vagina-scented candle advised users not to burn it for more than two hours, according to its listing on Goop’s website.

Watson acknowledged the “limited warning” on the lifestyle company’s website, but claimed that Goop “knew the candles were defective,” according to the lawsuit. He added that the blaze left a “black burn ring” on his nightstand and that the jar containing the candle was now “charred and black.”

No injuries were reported in the complaint.

“We’re confident this claim is frivolous and an attempt to secure an outsized payout from a press-heavy product. We stand behind the brands we carry and the safety of the products we sell,” a Goop spokesperson said in a statement to NBC News on Tuesday.

“Here, Heretic — the brand that supplies the candle — has substantiated the product’s performance and safety through industry standard testing,” the spokesperson said.

Watson’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Here, Heretic also did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Watson is seeking a jury trial and triple compensation as well as punitive damages of more than $5 million for him and others who “through no fault of their own, purchased defective and dangerous vagina-scented candles,” according to the complaint.

The lawsuit comes after a woman reported in January that her candle of the same model also allegedly exploded and was set ablaze.

Jody Thompson, of the United Kingdom, wrote in an essay published in The Guardian in March that her candle exploded “a few minutes after” lighting it.

“Flames roared half a metre out of the jar and bits of molten wax flew out as it fizzed and spat,” she wrote. “Luckily, I had placed it on concrete, at the base of what was once a fireplace.”

Thompson did not report any injuries, but she described the candle jar as “charred” and said the label was “melted.” It was unclear if Thompson considered any legal action, but she wrote that a Goop spokesperson offered to send more of its products.

A Goop representative told People at the time: “We’re in touch with the woman to see if she followed the specific fire safety instructions included with the candle, such as trimming the wick and not burning it for more than two hours. At goop, we vet the products we sell and make customer safety a priority, so we’ve alerted the manufacturer to the woman’s issue and have also reached out to her to send her some goop products to help pass the days in quarantine.”

It isn’t the first time Goop has run into trouble with its products.

The company has been criticized for its at-times dubious health benefits, including an advertisement that falsely claimed its jade and quartz “egg” products could be used to maintain vaginal health. In 2018, Goop agreed to pay $145,000 in civil penalties in a California settlement because the claims were deemed “unsubstantiated.”

“This settlement does not indicate any liability on Goop’s part,” Heather Wilson, a Goop spokesperson, said at the time. “The company has not received any complaints regarding these product claims.”

Wilson Wong is a breaking news reporter with NBC News. 

Diana Dasrath

Diana Dasrath is entertainment producer and senior reporter for NBC News covering all platforms.

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