Anime and Japanese culture convention Anime Matsuri has reportedly retained the services of Vic Mignogna’s lawyer Ty Beard.
The report comes from lawyer Nick Rekieta of Rekieta Law. Rekieta reports, “I’ve just been informed that Anime Matsuri has retained Ty Beard. Looks like they’re tired of garbage heaps trying to intimidate their guests. Consider yourselves on notice!”
I’ve just been informed that @AnimeMatsuri has retained Ty Beard.
Looks like they’re tired of garbage heaps trying to intimidate their guests.
Consider yourselves on notice!
— Rekieta Law: Speech is Free, but Lawyers Aren’t (@NickRekieta) May 11, 2019
The convention has faced a boycott movement called Boycott Anime Matsuri since January 2018. The Houston Chronicle notes the initial boycott began “over allegations that convention organizer John Leigh sexually harassed women in the anime and cosplay communities.”
Leigh issued a statement regarding the accusations in February of last year. It reads in part:
“I have listened to the stories of those who have been harassed, people who have been bullied or objectified, and people who have suffered in silence, afraid of speaking out. I understand now that my actions were unacceptable. I sincerely want to apologize to everyone that has been affected by my mistakes, because by recognizing, acknowledging and apologizing, and not repeating them is how I will continue to improve as a person.”
Leigh had previously indicated he planned to take legal action in “an attempt to protect our guests.” However, he would decide against legal actions noting “the actions we took had the unintended consequences of stifling conversations about sexual harassment.”
Despite Leigh’s statement, Boycott Anime Matsuri continued to call for people to cancel their appearances and even stated Leigh’s wife “terrorizes and openly mocks a girl her husband sexually harassed.”
We hope that current #AM2019 guests @TJStorm01, @thejasonliles, @monster_maxson, @richarddorton and @nozomu_s_staff will reconsider attending a convention whose CEO terorrizes and openly mocks a girl her husband sexually harassed.#BoycottAnimeMatsuri #KickVic #AnimeMatsuri https://t.co/UFbaJ3g4it
— Boycott Anime Matsuri (@BoycottMatsuri) February 11, 2019
They would double down on their calls to boycott the anime convention after Vic Mignogna was invited as a guest.
You have GOT to be kidding. pic.twitter.com/QEyBiu5Uvx
— Boycott Anime Matsuri (@BoycottMatsuri) January 17, 2019
They also pressured other announced guests to drop out of the convention.
.@SaraMitich @damonrunyan @KWOK_ROCK we’re sorry to hear that such talented actors have been announced as guests for #AnimeMatsuri. Please reconsider attending in solidarity with the women who have reported being sexually harassed by the owner of AM. info: https://t.co/XK0W9ZJpUZ
— Boycott Anime Matsuri (@BoycottMatsuri) April 25, 2019
Ty Beard of Beard Harris Bullock Hughes is currently representing Vic Mignogna in his lawsuit against Monica Rial, Ron Toye, Jamie Marchi, and Funimation.
Beard is the founder and Senior Partner of Beard Harris Bullock Hughes. He “specializes in defamation, tortious interference, business litigation, business transactions and advanced estate planning.”
Anime Matsuri takes place at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston Texas between June 13 and June 16th.
What do you make of this report that Anime Matsuri has retained the services of Ty Beard?