WWE SmackDown Superstar Matt Riddle recently dropped his petition for a restraining order against Candi Cartwright (Samantha Tavel), who previously accused him of sexual assault during the "#SpeakingOut" movement earlier this year.
Riddle and his lawyer accused Cartwright of cyber-stalking after the original accusation was made earlier this year, which led to the restraining order petition. Now it's been revealed that Riddle and his lawyer filed to have the petition dismissed in Orange County, Florida on Monday, September 7, just 36 hours before a court date to hear a motion to dismiss, according to documents revealed by David Bixenspan.
Riddle alleged in the petition that Cartwright committed stalking, threatened harm against family members or others close to him, threatened to destroy personal property, and use weapons such as guns or knives, among other accusations.
Riddle's petition recalled a timeline where he met Cartwright in 2016, and their affair began on November 6, 2017. He tried to break it off in June 2018, but they kept going. He then attempted a definitive breakup in July 2019 after Cartwright allegedly "systematically stalked, cyberstalked, and harassed" Riddle and his wife since July 9, 2019. He alleges that he then blocked Cartwright on social media, and changed his phone number, only for her to text him from a burner phone saying that if Riddle did not leave his wife for her that he would be sorry and Cartwright would ruin his career, according to Riddle. He then claimed that days later he and his wife contemplated filing for a restraining order, only to contact WWE and inform them of the situation.
The only place that the restraining order petition called for Cartwright to be banned from was the WWE Performance Center in Orlando. Cartwright's lawyer, Allison Lovelady, argued that this indicated the true intention of Riddle's petition, claiming that he was only trying to keep Cartwright from his place of work. The only incident named following the harassment that began on July 9, 2019, was the allegation that Cartwright came from New York to Full Sail University in Florida, this past February 2020, where Riddle was working, and "made a scene and had to be escorted out of the building."
No other incidents were listed in the petition, besides Cartwright's "#SpeakingOut" allegation on June 19, which "went viral and caused myself and my family substantial emotional distress," according to Riddle. The petition also claimed that Cartwright tweeted out Riddle's home address and his wife's phone number, which allegedly led to prank calls. The tweet could not be found, and Cartwright's lawyer said there was no evidence that the tweet was ever sent.
Cartwright's lawyer has filed for dismissal, claiming a lack of evidence, among other issues with the petition.
It was noted that Riddle's voluntary dismissal drops the case entirely. If they had proceeded to the hearing scheduled for the second week of this month, then a successful motion to dismiss on anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) grounds may have resulted in Riddle being forced to pay legal fees and court costs to Cartwright.
Riddle previously released a video denying the sexual assault allegations, but admitted to the affair with Cartwright. You can see that video at this link. You can read the statement issued through Riddle's lawyers earlier this summer, along with the last photos Cartwright released of the two together, at this link.
Stay tuned for more.
(H/T to David Bixenspan of Babyface v. Heel)