Last month, Samantha Tavel, professionally known as Candy Cartwrightfiled a civil lawsuit against Matt Riddle, EVOLVE, WWE, and former EVOLVE owner Gabe Sapolsky at Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago. WWE is now looking to move the lawsuit from municipal to federal court.
HeelByNature has obtained court documents filed on November 17th which include consent forms from Riddle, Sapolsky, and WWN owner Sal Hamaoui. The consent forms were required in order to move the case to a federal level.
HeelByNature reported that moving the case from municipal to federal court can benefit the defendants. They report, "According to Law.com, moving a case to federal court provides 'a potentially greater chance of winning a motion to dismiss or summary judgment motion, and a more structured discovery format under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.'"
The lawsuit alleges Riddle began sexually assaulting Tavel in April of 2017 in a parking lot following an EVOLVE show. The lawsuit alleges Riddle bragged about the incident to former EVOLVE owner Sapolsky. She also alleges Riddle forced her to engage in oral sex in May of 2018 on a bus with other EVOLVE talent present.
The lawsuit also alleges Tavel had bookings with EVOLVE and WWE in January 2020, and prior to that Riddle forced her to perform sexual acts under threat she would lose her bookings if she did not. Tavel claims Riddle informed WWE and EVOLVE that he did not want her working with either companies, and she was told "issues with talent" was the reason why she was not booked.
David Bixenspan of Babyface v. Heel obtained an email reportedly sent to Tavel from NXT senior official and WWE referee Drake Wuertz canceling an appearance she was booked for on January 31, the same date mentioned in the lawsuit, citing issues with an NXT talent that "would not make for an ideal environment."
Tavel is suing each defendant for $10 million for actual damages, damages from emotional distress, punitive damages, attorney's fees, and costs.