Candy Cartwright (Samantha Tavel) recently filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois against Matt Riddle, WWE, EVOLVE and Gabe Sapolsky.
Fightful obtained copies of the court documents and Cartwright is seeking $10 million in damages from each defendant. She is being represented by John Chwarzynski Jr. of Hale & Monico.
In a press conference yesterday, Chwarzynski Jr. said: "We can only hope the state's attorney's office will do the right thing and open an investigation into this matter and press charges against Matt Riddle."
The lawsuit alleges Matt Riddle sexually assaulted Tavel on numerous occasions from April 2017 until January 2020. The WWE Superstar allegedly first sexually assaulted her in a parking lot after an EVOLVE show and bragged to Gabe Sapolsky about it.
The lawsuit also alleges that Riddle forced Tavel to perform oral sex on May 19, 2018, following an EVOLVE show. When Tavel initially refused, Riddle put his hands around her neck and said, "What if I just made you?"
A further incident on January 31, 2020, is also detailed within the suit. Tavel allegedly refused to continue "performing forced sexual acts" on the WWE Superstar and Riddle subsequently told EVOLVE and WWE he did not want Cartwright to work for them. Her bookings with both companies were then cancelled because of "issues with talent."
WWE and EVOLVE have been named in the lawsuit on the basis that the misogynistic culture within the companies encouraged Riddle's behaviour and created an environment which accepts sexual assault.
Chwarzynski said: "The WWE has painted a picture over the course of the years that female performers are to comply with certain rules. The WWE, since its inception, has hyper-sexualised female performers and they've profited from male aggression against these female performers."
Following the press conference, WWE issued the following statement to Fightful: "WWE has not been served with a lawsuit by Ms. Tavel. However, if served, we will vigorously defend ourselves and contest it."
Gabe Sapolsky also told Fightful the lawsuit was "news to me."
Matt Riddle's attorney reportedly plans to countersue.
H/T to Chicago Sun-Times for the press conference transcription.