Samantha Tavel, who performed under the name “Candy Cartwright” has launched a major civil lawsuit regarding accusations levied against Matt Riddle.
Fightful.com was the first to report that Tavel, represented by lawyer John Chwarynski Jr., filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County in Illinois listing Riddle, WWE, an unnamed “co-founder of EVOLVE” (which Fightful reports is Gabe Sapolsky), and EVOLVE Wrestling as defendants.
In the documents Fightful obtained, it states Tavel is seeking $10 million from each of the defendants listed.
The site adds that the suit alleges multiple sexual assaults committed by Riddle, bragging about his alleged actions to Sapolsky, and that the two promotions tacitly approved of Riddle’s alleged assaults on Tavel, and that her bookings were affected by discontinuing to perform sexual acts on Riddle.
A news conference was held by Tavel and her lawyer on Thursday outlining the suit and allegations. The Chicago Sun-Times reported on the news conference including comments Chwarynski, who said he would present copies of the lawsuit to the Cook County state attorney’s office and the Police Department in Summit, Illinois.
Tavel stated that one alleged incident occurred on May 19, 2018, while she was in a relationship with Riddle. Tavel states that Riddle asked her to perform a sex act while on a bus, which she was uncomfortable with due to other wrestlers being on the bus. She stated that Riddle placed his hands onto her neck and said, “What if I just made you?”. The date in question corresponds with the EVOLVE 104 card that was held in Summit, Illinois where Riddle worked on the show.
This is among the “series of assaults” that the plaintiff is alleging Riddle committed against her from 2017 until 2020.
WWE has issued a statement regarding the lawsuit, stating they have not been served yet:
WWE has not been served with a lawsuit by Ms. Tavel. However, if served, we will vigorously defend ourselves and contest it.
In a response to the Fightful outlet, Sapolsky responded by stating the lawsuit is “news to me.”
In July, Riddle posted a video statement denying the allegations made by Tavel, although acknowledging he did have an affair with Tavel:
I have never, in my entire life, sexually assaulted a man, woman, or anybody. And, that includes Samantha Tavel/Candy Cartwright. I never sexually assaulted you. The story about that van trip and the driver being asleep and me forcing you to do stuff and hop on, whatever, is a complete lie, it’s a fabricated story because you’re still mad. You know why you’re mad? Because yes, you’re right, we had an affair. You have plenty of evidence of that and you know what? I never denied it because it happened. Do I want to talk about it? Do I really want to share about it? No, it’s embarrassing because I feel like a real piece of crap cheating on my wife and doing that and now having to talk about it publicly. But I have to
We had a relationship; we had a fling. I started to get sad and depressed because I was lying to my wife so much to hide what I was doing. I was lying to all my friends because I didn’t want anyone to know because it’s not something cool. I didn’t want to brag about it. I tried to end it, I told my wife about you and us. I tried to end it, I blocked you, I blocked your social media, you then started using social messaging apps, you kept coming, I blocked those, I got a new number, you got my new number and kept messaging me.
Now, you have literally started harassing me, showing up to hotels, harassing my friends “Where is he? Where is he? Where is he?” At this point, you have to realize if you don’t think you’re stalking me or harassing me, you’re crazy and if you’re at home and you don’t think that’s harassment, you’re crazy. At the end of the day, I’m not perfect, we did have an affair and I’m not happy about that. But I never sexually abused anyone, I never sexually assaulted anybody and when I wanted to get out of this relationship, out of this situation – she said no, and she kept pursuing me and harassing me and stalking me. And then, when she didn’t get her way, she used the Speaking Out movement to try and ruin my career. Completely unacceptable. That’s all I really have to say, that’s the story, everybody have a great day, take care.
Last month, Riddle’s lawyer Daniel Rose had stated his client would be proceeding with a civil suit filed against Tavel, although it has yet to be filed.