During his deposition for his ongoing defamation lawsuit, Dragon Ball Super: Broly voice actor Vic Mignogna denied having prior knowledge of third parties involved in the ongoing online discussions regarding the lawsuit. And, he remained adamant that he has never assaulted another individual.

At the onset of the deposition, taken a day before Ron Toye’s deposition and facilitated by Monica Rial and Toye’s legal representative J. Sean Lemoine of the Wick Phillips law firm, Mignogna reaffirms that his lawsuit is based on the negative impact the accusations and statements against him have had on both his professional and personal reputations:

Lemoine: Is your reputation as a voice actor important to you?

Mignogna: Of course.

Lemoine: Okay. Why?

Mignogna: Because it reflects on me as a person, it reflects on me as a professional in a field.

Lemoine: And – and do you feel like you have a positive reputation as a voice actor in your field?

Mignogna: I believe I do.

Lemoine: And how long have you had that, what you would call, positive reputation?

Mignogna: Well, I’ve been a voice actor for almost 20 years, so I can only assume that since I’ve been hired repeatedly for, you know, over 20 years, that somebody must think I’m relatively good at what I do.

[…]

Lemoine: Is your personal reputation important to you?

Mignogna: Yes.

Lemoine: Why is that? Why?

Mignogna: The same reason anyone’s is important to them.

Lemoine: Well, not anyone is suing my clients for defamation. You are, sir. So why is your reputation important to you?

Mignogna: Well, because it goes to credibility, it goes to the opportunity to continue to work and be hired.

Lemoine: Anything else?

Mignogna: Nothing comes to mind at the time.

Lemoine then presses Mignogna on his relationship to lawyer Nick Rekieta and the Vic Kicks Back GoFundMe campaign created by Rekieta. Mignogna first responds by stating that he was not aware of Rekieta’s existence until being informed of Rekieta’s YouTube channel and coverage of Mignogna’s legal situation, which began after Mignogna’s firing from Funimation:

Lemoine: All right. Do you know Mr. Rekieta?

Mignogna: I’d never met him until, for the first time, a couple weeks ago.

Lemoine: Where did you meet him at?

Mignogna: I met him at an anime convention in Houston.

Lemoine: Is he your attorney?

Mignogna: No, sir.

Lemoine: Has he ever represented you?

Mignogna: No, sir.

Lemoine: Have you ever communicated with Mr. Rekieta by email, text, any type of application on your phone?

Mignogna: Briefly.

Lemoine: About what?

Mignogna: He wrote me back in, probably, February. I didn’t know who he was, it was unsolicited, and I did not reply. And then it was brought to my attention that there was a gentleman on the internet who was making videos and  — and being very supportive of – of my situation. And when they told me his name, I went back into my email and looked up to see if that was the person that had contacted me, and it was. And so I sent him an email and thanked him for his support.

Mignogna would also deny that he was involved with the creation, management, or use of the GoFundMe campaign and funds:

Lemoine: Who came up with the idea of the GoFundMe campaign?

Mignogna: Mr. Rekieta

Lemoine: And what was the purpose of the GoFundMe campaign?

Mignogna: You’ll have to ask Mr. Rekieta

[…]

Lemoine: And you told him that was okay with you?

Mignogna: No. I did not give him permission. He had already done it.

Lemoine: Okay. Did you – did he ask for permission after he did it?

Mignogna: No, sir.

[…]

Lemoine: Did you ask Mr. Rekieta  to set up this GoFundMe campaign?

Mignogna: No, sir.

[…]

Lemoine: So this GoFundMe campaign, you don’t have any idea how the money is being spent?

Mignogna: No, sir.

Lemoine: Don’t know who – where the money is going?

Mignogna: No, sir.

[…]

Lemoine: As you sit here today, other – other than your attorney, because I’m not allowed to get into those communications, has anybody else told you how money that is going into this GoFundMe campaign, how it’s being spent?

Mignogna: No, sir.

Lemoine: You’ve never seen any documents that – that show how it’s being distributed?

Mignogna: No, sir.

Lemoine: As you sit here today, are you paying your attorneys to represent you?

Mignogna: I have not, as of this moment, paid them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZSSGcdBCk8

Mignogna also denies any relationship with the users of the website Kiwi Farms, of which some have been closely following the situation and have independently attempted to ‘dox’ individuals related to the case:

Lemoine: Okay. Are you familiar with a website called Kiwi Farms?

Mignogna: I’ve heard of it.

Lemoine: And do you know what it is?

Mignogna: Not – I think it’s some kind of an information gathering website. I’ve never been there.

[…]

Lemoine: Do you know what goes on in – at Kiwi Farms?

Mignogna: No, sir.

Lemoine: So what is it you know about Kiwi Farms?

Lemoine: As I mentioned earlier, it – it’s some sort of an information gathering website. That’s about all I know.

[…]

Lemoine: Are you aware of anyone trying to get Kiwi Farms to identify witnesses and disclose their information?

Mignogna: No, sir.

As expected, Mignogna was also questioned regarding the allegations of sexual assault and misconduct leveled against him. Mignogna first explains that he has altered the way he interacts with fans and notes that he regularly interacts with fans in the presence of a ‘handler’:

Lemoine: All right. The last sentence on – on page 3 reads, Mignogna said he will stop his physical interaction with fans as a result. Is that a – is that a statement that you made?

Mignogna: Yes. No, actually no. The statement I made was I intend to alter my interactions with fans moving forward.

Lemoine: Okay. And have you done that?

Mignogna: Yes, I have.

Lemoine: And do you still hug and kiss your fans?

Mignogna: No.

Lemoine: Do you hug them at all?

Mignogna: They hug me, occasionally and I – it’s funny, because as this has been happening in the events that I’ve attended since then, it – I have never hugged anyone or asked them to hug me, but if a fan, who is clearly an adult, says, can I give you a hug, I will look at my handler, who is right here, arm’s length away, witnessing everything, and say, Did you hear that she requested a hug? And I will usually do kind of a one little, one hand thing.

Lemoine then asks Mignogna if he has stopped “[kissing] on children”, prompting Mignogna to make a distinction between sexual acts and acts of “kindness or appreciation”:

Lemoine: And – and do you restrict that to adults?

Mignogna: Yes.

Lemoine: Meaning you don’t hug children anymore?

Mignogna: No.

Lemoine: Do you agree with me that’s kind of creepy, right?

Mignogna: No.

Lemoine: Not creepy?

Mignogna: Not when they ask you.

Lemoine: I mean, is there an age limit in which a child can ask you to kiss and hug on them and you say that’s creepy?

Mignogna: You see, when you say kiss, it sounds like something sexual, but somebody who is kissing a child on the forehead or the cheek as a – as a symbol of kindness or appreciation, is not meant in any sexual way.

Mignogna later uses this distinction to explain the differences between his actions and the salacious depictions seen in the media:

Lemoine: Would you agree with me that kissing 14-year-old girls on the face, whether it’s consensual or not, is really not appropriate for a 40- or 50-year-old man?

Beard: Objection, form.

Mignogna: I would say a lot depends on context.

Lemoine: Okay. When is it – what is the context in which a 40- or 50-year-old man kissing a Lemoine4-year-old girl is appropriate?

Mignogna: Well, if it is requested, if the – if the – in the past, this is the way I felt about it. I apologized for this, by the way. I apologized for not really considering, you know, that while there may be 500 people who appreciate that kid of kindness, there may be a few that don’t. When they – when they’re visibly emotional or upset, and you’re wanting to be comforting and kind to them, all of these things happened in full public view of many people standing around, shooting videos, taking pictures. It wasn’t sexual in any way, it wasn’t private or sadistic or weird in any way. It was – it was literally meant as an act of kindness.

[…]

Lemoine: If you skip down four sentences, it reads, This issue is exacerbated by his age, as any 56-year-old who spends so much time interacting with young girls on a website without parental supervision and who then embraces and kisses these children at conventions is going to raise eyebrows, even if innocuous. Do you agree with that statement?

Mignogna: No, sir. This is completely inflammatory.

[…]

Lemoine: What’s inflammatory about the statement?

Mignogna: If I may.

Lemoine: Sure.

Mignogna: “So much time.” How much is that? Who’s to determine how much so much time is. “On a website without parental supervisor.” The person who wrote this does not know any of that factually. This is meant to inflame.

Hold on. Let me please finish. “Embraces and kisses children.” Yeah, like every other voice actor does in public for photo ops at conventions. It’s not seedy and dirty and pervy. And the vast majority of the people, many of them that I have met over the years, have no problem whatsoever with it. There is a small contingent that does, and I apologized to those people in the tweet where I said, I – I accept that I need to be more mindful that not everybody is open to that kind of interaction.

A partial transcript of the deposition was included in a Motion to Determine the Scope of Anti-SLAPP Stay, or Alternatively for Leave to Conduct Discovery filing by Rial and Toye. The filing accuses Mignogna and Rekieta of collusion and asserts that they will attempt to hide behind  Funimation’s Motion to Dismiss to avoid revealing this information during discovery. In the filing, Rial and Toye request that discovery is not stayed so that the defendants may issue a subpoena for an hour-and-a-half long, livestreamed deposition from Rekieta.

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