Recently filed documents regarding the ongoing defamation case filed by Dragon Ball Super: Broly voice actor Vic Mignogna have revealed that defendants Monica Rial and Ron Toye have answered Mignogna’s Original Petition whilst an order granting substituted service has been issued to defendant Jamie Marchi.

On May 13th, Casey S. Erick, the attorney representing Rial and Toye, filed the Defendant’s Original Answer in response to the initial court motions filed by Mignogna against his clients. In this answer, Rial and Toye present the alleged factual background of the lawsuit, asserting in their opening and closing points that the lawsuit is merely a reaction to having his past exposed:

1. For years, women nationwide have complained publicly that Plaintiff Vic Mignogna (“Mignogna”} sexually harassed, intimidated, or groped them. 1 The complaints come from underage fans attending conventions, and respected voice actors who have experienced his degrading behavior. It is no surprise that Mignogna now intends to blame everyone but himself for his misconduct. This lawsuit is nothing more than a desperate ploy by a disgraced actor to drag others down with him and a continuation of the harassment that has ruined his once noteworthy career.

10. A review of Mignogna’s petition fails to identify what defamatory or otherwise tortious conduct Defendants are liable for. For the most part, it complains of “likes” and “re-tweets” of other people’s opinions. Furthermore, Mignogna does not describe any causal connection between Defendants’ actions and Mignogna’s termination from FUNimation, Rooster Teeth, and any other company or venue.

11. It is clear that Mignogna has decided to prosecute his grievances in the public forum. However, at the same time, use the courts to stifle anyone who publicly discusses his long history of sexual assault and harassment. Mignogna’s claims have no merit and should be summarily dismissed.

Rial and Toye also provide various, previously noted examples of Mignogna’s alleged conduct, such as:

4. Mignogna’s predatory tendencies are well documented. In fact, there are a number of sites dedicated to sharing stories ofMignogna’s inappropriate behavior with women including the Tumblr blog “Dear Vic Meggnogna.”3 Many victims’ stories continue to pour in through all forms of social media, detailing times when Mignogna acted inappropriately towards them (fondling, kissing, groping, etc.) without their consent, most while they were still underage, and include allegations of sexual assault and harassment. In addition, there is a collection of articles, posts, tweets, etc. all detailing the allegations of Vic Mignogna and the sources.4

5. On February 19, 2019, Beth Elderkin of lo9, published an article titled “One of Anime’s Biggest Voices Accused of Sexual Harassment,” which details the history of sexual harassment allegations against Mignogna and how they have led to production companies terminating their ties with him.5 Elderkin spoke with more than 25 voice actors, cosplayers, industry professionals, convention employees, and former fans about their experiences with Mignogna. That article describes Mignogna as: A 56-year-old man who aggressively hugs, grabs, touches, kisses, and propositions women-often without asking for their consent. It happens at panels, in autograph lines, at private events, and behind closed doors. His behavior has become so known in the anime and comic convention communities that it’s more than an open secret

7. For instance, Rooster Teeth Productions, LLC, is an American media and entertainment company headquartered in Austin, Texas, is known for the animated series R WBY (pronounced Ruby). Mignogna had a role in the series as a voice actor. On February 5, 2019, Rooster Teeth severed their business relationship with Mignogna. A post on the Rooster Teeth website stated: “Effective today, Vic Mignogna is no longer a part of the cast of RWBY and Rooster Teeth is ending all associations with Mignogna. This will not affect the creative content of RWBY.”7 Rooster Teeth’s decision followed in the wake of allegations levied against Mignogna regarding kissing and embracing female convention attendees without their consent.

The pair then provide a series of Special Exceptions, procedural devices with which a given party can essentially question the validity and clarity of the opposing party’s allegations. The first, is that:

12. Defendants specially except to Section VI, A, of Plaintiff’s Original Petition, titled “Defamation” on the basis that it fails to state any cause of action for any allegedly defamatory statement that is time-barred because of Plaintiffs failure to comply with the notice requirements set forth under the Texas Defamation Mitigation Act.

However, lawyer and host of the Rekieta Law YouTube channel, Nick Rekieta asserted in a recent livestream that Toye previously received a notice regarding the ‘defamatory statements’:

“This guy is going to try and argue that Ron Toye getting a letter saying to remove the defamatory tweets and then 400 defamatory tweets printed off, he’s going to claim that that is not notice under the Texas Defamation Mitigation Act. They gave you 400 tweets to remove, and you’re going to say they didn’t tell you what to remove?”

Five more Special Exceptions are then provided by Rial and Toye:

13. Defendants specially except Section VI, 8-E of Plaintiff’s Original Petition, on the grounds that the allegations are so general, vague and unclear, they fail to apprise Defendants of what Plaintiff expects to prove.

14. Defendants specially except to the entirety of Plaintiff’s Original Petition regarding the relief sought and asks the Court to require Plaintiff to specify the maximum amount that Plaintiff claims.

15. Defendants specially except to Section VI, B of Plaintiff’s Original Petition because Plaintiff did not plead all elements of his tortious interference with existing contracts cause of action. Specifically, Plaintiff did not include the elements of Defendants’ knowledge of any alleged contract, that Defendants interfered with any alleged contract, that Defendants intended to interfere, and Defendants’ interference was the proximate cause of Plaintiff’s damages.

16.Defendants specially except to Section VI, C of Plaintiff’s Original Petition because Plaintiff did not plead all elements of his tortious interference with prospective business relations cause of action. Specifically, Plaintiff did not include the element of a specific business relationship, Defendants knew about the relationship, that the alleged interference was more than an incidental result, and Defendant’s conduct was independently tortious.

17. Defendants specially except to Section VI, D of Plaintiffs Original Petition because Plaintiff did not plead all elements of his civil conspiracy allegation. Specifically, Plaintiff did not include the element of unlawful purpose, lawful purpose by unlawful means, the members had a meeting of the minds on the object or course of action, one of the members committed an unlawful, overt act to further the object of course of action, and how this proximately caused Plaintiffs damages.

Rekieta also commented on these items, noting that:

“Again, it’s notice pleading. They don’t have to prove all of the elements in the notice pleading document, merely that they intend to prove the tortious interference with prospective business relations. And again, if it’s not sufficient, they can amend the pleading. This is something they could cure with an amended pleading.”

The Answer continues by providing a General Denial, which Rekieta states “is the only useful section of the entire document”, and Verified Denials:

GENERAL DENIAL

18. Pursuant to Rule 92 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, Defendants generally deny each and every allegation in the Plaintiffs Original Petition, and any amendment thereto, and demand strict proof of all such allegations.

VERIFIED DENIALS

19. Defendants specifically deny Plaintiffs allegation that all conditions precedent have been performed or have occurred.

20. Defendants specifically deny that Plaintiff complied with the requirements of the Defamation Mitigation Act before filing this lawsuit. On April 12, 2019, Plaintiff mailed a purported Request for Correction, Clarification, or Retraction, pursuant to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §§73.052 et seq. to Defendants. The requests referenced only “examples” of the allegedly defamatory statements beginning not earlier than January 24, 2019 (Ronald Toye) and February 6, 2019 (Monica Rial).

21. Defendants specifically deny that Plaintiffs request complied with the requirements set forth in §73.055(d) the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Plaintiffs request failed to specifically describe all of the allegedly false and defamatory statements and state the time and place of their publication, if known. Instead, Plaintiffs request referred to a few “examples” of statements.

22. Defendants specifically deny that Plaintiff’s request was served on the Defendants within 90 days after learning of the publication of the alleged defamatory statement, thereby precluding Plaintiff from recovering any exemplary damages in this action. See TEX. Crv. PRAC. & REM. CODE§ 73.0SS(c).

Yet the Verified Denials, Rekieta claims, are ultimately irrelevant to the overall case:

“Doesn’t matter; you can’t generally specifically deny something. You idiot. You have to specifically deny it. So, you have to say what ‘conditions precedent’ haven’t been met or occurred. You have to do that. You can’t specifically generally deny. That is obviously mutually exclusive. It cannot exist.”

The defendants then present a list of Affirmative Defenses, which include:

28. Defendants are not liable to Plaintiff on the grounds that they were induced and provoked to make the statements by the wrongful and malicious acts of Plaintiff.

30. Defendants are not liable to Plaintiff because, at the time the alleged defamatory statements set forth in Plaintiffs petition, Defendants had good reason to believe, and did believe, that on certain dates and times, and at various other times before and after, Plaintiff sexually harassed and/or sexually assaulted the women identified in the FUNimation investigation in addition to third parties who have been victims of Plaintiff’s sexual harassment and sexual assaults. Accordingly, the words Defendants spoke concerning Plaintiff were and are true, or, in the alternative, are and were substantially true.

31. Defendants are not liable to Plaintiff because the allegedly defamatory statements were not made with actual malice.

35. Defendants are not liable to Plaintiff because any alleged defamatory statements were statements of opinion.

37. Defendants are not liable to Plaintiff in that some or all of the alleged defamatory statements were meant as a parody or satire.

The answer concludes with a request for a trial by jury, disclosure of relevant information (such as damages sought), and for the prospective trial to be overseen by a judge rather than an associate judge:

JURY DEMAND

48. Defendants demand a jury trial and tender the appropriate fee with this answer.

REQUEST FOR DISCLOSURE

49. Under Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 194, Defendants request that Plaintiff disclose, within 30 days of the service of this request, the infonnation or material described in Rule 194.2.

OBJECTION TO ASSOCIATE JUDGE

50. Defendants object to the referral of this case to an associate judge for hearing a trial on the merits or presiding at a jury trial.

At the time of writing, Mignogna nor his legal team have publicly responded to Rial and Toye’s answer.

Independent of Rial and Toye, Mignogna and his legal team were also granted a Motion for Substituted Service regarding My Hero Academia voice actress Jamie Marchi, another defendant in the same case. This motion was granted due to all attempts by the court to properly serve Marchi notice of the suit ending unsuccessfully:

On this date, the Court considered Plaintiff’s Motion for Substituted Service on Defendant,

JAMIE MARCHI.

The Court finds that as to Defendant, JAMIE MARCHI:

1. The facts set forth in the affidavit of Lamont Aldridge are accepted as true and incorporated herein as if set forth at length.

2. Lamont Aldridge exercised due diligence to serve process on Defendant, JAMIE MARCHI at her residence located at 9411 Timberleaf Drive, Dallas, Texas 75243 multiple times.

3. The manner of service ordered herein will be reasonably effective in giving Defendant, JAMIE MARCHI, notice of the suit.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that service of citation may be made on Defendant,

JAMIE MARCHI, by leaving a copy of the citation, with a copy of the petition and a copy of this order, attached on the door of Defendant, JAMIE MARCHI’S residence and/or abode

It appears that the inability for the court to serve Marchi notice was not due to a lack of diligence, but rather because Marchi appears to be actively hiding from and avoiding any attempts by a court to serve her, as noted by Lamont Aldridge, the person who attempted multiple times to serve Marchi:

1) Unsuccessful Attempt: May 1, 2019, 7:45 pm CDT

I attempted service at the above address. There was no answer at the door. When I went back to the car, I could see someone looking out the window. I went back and knocked on the door and rang the doorbell. I still did not get an answer. A vehicle belonging to the Defendant was parked in front of the home. I left a card on the door for a call back.

2) Unsuccessful Attempt: May 4, 2019, 5:25 pm CDT

I attempted service at the above address. There was no answer at the door.

3) Unsuccessful Attempt: May 8, 2019, 8:00 am CDT

I attempted service at the above address. There was no answer at the door.

4) Unsuccessful Attempt: May 8, 2019, 10:00 am CDT

I attempted service at the above address. There was no answer at the door. A white BMW that belonged to the Defendant was parked in front of the home. I checked for other vehicles registered to the Defendant and at the same address. It appeared that the BMW that was parked out front was the only vehicle registered to the Defendant. The blinds were open downstairs. I sat across the street where the Defendant would not be able to see me until about 1 :05 p.m. At that time an Oncor utility truck arrived at the Defendant’s home. The driver got out and went to the Defendant’s door. I pulled in front of the home and waited. The Defendant did not open the door. The Oncor driver left the home as shown in Exhibit “A”, which also shows the vehicle registered to the Defendant. The Oncor driver sat in his truck for about 10 minutes and then left. I stayed another 10 minutes and left.

5) Unsuccessful Attempt: May 9, 2019, 2:15 pm CDT

I attempted service at the above address. There were a couple of 5 gallon bottles of water at the door. I pulled across the street and waited a moment. There was a Fedex truck that pulled up and delivered a carpet by leaving it at the door. I left a card on the carpet roll.

Following the May 13th filing of this statement, Marchi proceeded to facetiously address her alleged attempts at dodging Aldridge on her Twitter account:

As of writing, it is not known if Marchi has successfully been served.

What do you make of Ron Toye and Monica Rial’s response? What do you make of Marchi’s response?

(Visited 25,798 times, 65 visits today)

About The Author

Related Posts