Entrepreneurs

“A moment of madness”: Why Richard Branson and Mark Cuban threw water at each other

Martin Kovacs /

A misunderstanding with Mark Cuban has led to Richard Branson throwing water at his fellow billionaire, starting an argument in the middle of filming a TV show.

The impromptu water fight occurred during the filming of the US version of Shark Tank, with Branson observing via a blog post that Cuban “was not pleased”.

Branson writes that the incident occurred following Cuban calling an entrepreneur a “gold digger”, a term he “thought was rather offensive”.

“I didn’t realise the word ‘gold digger’ was used on the show to mean someone who doesn’t need the investment money but comes on Shark Tank for the free publicity,” Branson writes.

“I tried to fight for her honour, and Mark called me out for not understanding the show. I playfully threw a little water over him, thinking he was giving me the go signal to do so, but he wasn’t at all impressed with the impromptu shower, so threw some water right back at me.”

Branson managed to patch things up backstage, writing that, in possession of a spare shirt, Cuban “saw the lighter side of the incident and later accepted my apology”.

The making of a shark

As for his time spent on the show as a guest judge, Branson writes that he “felt honoured to be sitting next to some of the quickest minds in business”.

“It was inspiring to learn about so many different companies, with entrepreneurs from all backgrounds, industries and ages,” he writes.

“Each pitch brought more excitement and my fellow sharks were in fine fighting form. I was lucky to get a word in! I got my sea legs after a while, and felt like a true shark after I made my first offer.”

Branson invested in Locker Board, a company created by “a 12-year-old entrepreneur named Carson [who] designs and produces upcycled skateboards that fit into backpacks and lockers”, as well as “outdoor gear and equipment company” Sierra Madre Research.

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Martin Kovacs

Martin Kovacs is a journalist with experience covering the IT, consumer electronics, retail, finance and energy sectors.

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