Nessel, '90 Day Fiancé' star reach agreement over COVID claims dispute

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

The Michigan attorney general and a reality television show participant have reached an agreement resolving a dispute over claims the woman made regarding COVID-19 prevention. 

Attorney General Dana Nessel said Wednesday she and Stephanie Davison, featured on TLC's "90 Day Fiancé," had entered an "assurance of voluntary compliance" after Davison touted an injection as potentially helping to prevent against COVID-19. 

As part of the agreement, Davison must post a public retraction on her Instagram account for a month, warn customers of potential side effects of the injection and pay $4,000 to the Department of Attorney General to pay for the costs of investigating her case. 

"I am pleased to see Ms. Davison take responsibility in this matter, and it is my hope it can serve as a reminder that my office takes misleading and false claims related to consumer products very seriously," Nessel said in a statement.  

Stephanie Davison is pictured in a screenshot of an April 17 video posted to her Instagram page.

In a Tuesday statement posted to her Instagram page, Davison noted the agreement does not constitute any admission of wrongdoing. 

"This has been the worst thing that I’ve ever endured," Davison said. "I’m grateful for their willingness to admit their legal conclusions."

The Instagram retraction, according to the agreement, must say: "Ipamorelin/Sermorelin injections do not treat or prevent COVID-19 and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. Skin Envy apologizes if any customer concluded otherwise."

The agreement also requires Davison to request WOOD TV to remove the video where she made the statements from its website. She also agreed to avoid using the video in any advertising.

Nessel sent Davison, who owns the Grand Rapids non-surgical weight loss center Skin Envy, a notice of intended action in May after Davison made comments about the injection on a West Michigan lifestyle show. 

Nessel's notice alleged Davison told viewers that Skin Envy's ipamorelin/sermorelin injection boosted the immune system and prevented COVID-19. She allegedly told WOOD TV's Eight West program that all of her friends got COVID-19, but she never did. 

"So, I'm thankful and now I've been vaccinated so I will not get it ever now," Davison said, according to Nessel's complaint. "So I'm so grateful and I've had people tell me in the medical field that it is probably due to the ipamorelin/sermorelin."

Nessel asked Davison to retract her statement or face civil action or a formal investigation. 

Davison entered negotiations with Nessel's office soon after receiving the May notice but also appeared to defend her statement on Instagram

"I stated I have a boosted immune system," Davison wrote. "I have never promoted my shots are a cure for anything. I said I was thankful I’ve been vaccinated so I don’t have to worry about getting it now."

Davison participated in Season 8 of TLC's "90 Day Fiancé," which pairs international partners with American men and women. The couples have 90 days to wed and secure a visa or break up and the foreign partner has to return home.

eleblanc@detroitnews.com