Candy Cartwright (Samantha Tavel) filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against WWE, Riddle (Matt Riddle), Gabe Sapolsky and EVOLVE back in October and is seeking $10 million in damages from each defendant.
The lawsuit alleges that Riddle sexually assaulted Tavel on multiple occasions from April 2017 to January 2020. Three incidents are cited within the lawsuit, one in April 2017, another on May 19, 2018, and a third on January 31, 2020.
Since the lawsuit was first filed, WWE successfully had it moved to the United States District Court for the Northern District Of Illinois. Matt Riddle also filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on December 3, which you can read about here.
Mike Johnson of PWInsider has now reported that Gabe Sapolsky filed a motion to dismiss proceedings against him on January 8. Sapolsky cited multiple reasons as to why the lawsuit against him should be dismissed.
Firstly, the motion argued the United States District Court for the Northern District Of Illinois lacks jurisdiction over the WWE consultant because he does not live in Illinois nor own any property in Illinois.
In specific reference to the alleged incident on May 19, 2018, the motion argued Sapolsky did not hire Tavel to perform at EVOLVE 104 and she attended the event on her own volition. Evidence attached showed Twitter direct messages between Tavel and Sapolsky where the former EVOLVE owner told Cartwright she could take another booking in the North East as there were no cars travelling from New York. Tavel stated that she treated EVOLVE as a "top priority" and later messaged Sapolsky saying she had booked her own flights to the show. The motion also noted that Sapolsky did not hire Tavel to work at the event and that she was not an EVOLVE employee. The motion claimed Tavel "came to the event on her volition, insisted on attending the event, and paid her own expenses."
While Matt Riddle worked on EVOLVE 104, he was classified as an independent contractor, not an EVOLVE employee, the motion outlined.
Furthermore, the motion to dismiss noted that Tavel claimed Riddle sexually assaulted her after EVOLVE 104 "while on a bus leaving the event." He referred to Riddle's previous motion to dismiss in which the WWE Superstar claimed they were actually in a van owned by a videographer named Joseph M. Ranta and that the alleged incident would not have taken place in Illinois.
The motion further stated: "Accordingly, any connection between the Evolve event or Mr. Sapolsky and the Complaint’s allegations terminated long before the alleged assault that forms the basis of the Complaint had occurred. Indeed, as the Complaint make clear, the alleged assault did not occur until after Mr. Ranta began driving his personal van and its passengers from the Indiana Denny’s to his Michigan home.
"The May 19 event, Mr. Sapolsky's sole connection to the state of Illinois, is not casually connected to the conduct alleged in support of Count IV. The assault did not occur at the 'Evolve 104' event or in Illinois. The assault did not occur in a vehicle provided by Mr. Sapolsky or Evolve. Mr. Sapolsky was not present during the alleged assault, and the Complaint does not allege that he had any advance knowledge of the assault. The alleged assault happened in a private vehicle occupied by individuals that voluntarily decided to travel together. The allegations underlying the Complaint therefore do not arise directly out of any actions by Mr. Sapolsky took or the Evolve event in Summit, IL on May 19, 2018. Consequently, this court cannot exercise specific jurisdiction over Mr. Sapolsky and should dismiss the Count IV of the Complaint."
Sapolsky also claimed that Cartwright's lawsuit failed to state a "cognizable claim" under the Illinois Gender Violence Act.
Along with the motion to dismiss, Sapolsky issued a statement and referred to the April 2017 incident. He noted there was not an EVOLVE event in Illinois on the weekend in question. He referred to Riddle's motion to dismiss in which the WWE Superstar said he believes Tavel is referring to a consensual sexual encounter in New York.
Tavel has until January 25 to respond to Sapolsky's motion. The court will then rule on the motions to dismiss by February 8.