WWE Asserts Wrestler Admitted to Attorney Solicitation in Podcast
World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) made another move on November 6, 2017, to further its allegations that attorney Matthew Peterson solicited Marcus “Buff” Bagwell and Scott “Raven” Levy to file suit against WWE for royalties. WWE made a motion to compel phone call records and information that was allegedly improperly redacted from the phone records previously given to WWE in discovery.
WWE focused on an interview Bagwell had last year on the podcast “Pancakes and Powerslams” where he stated he would not have sued WWE if Peterson had not called him and asked him to look into his contract. The interview also is alleged to contradict Bagwell’s answers on how he and Levy became plaintiffs in the suit for royalties connected to the WWE Network on-demand streaming service. Specifically, in the interview transcript Bagwell stated, “I didn’t go out and hire a lawyer to do this. This is something that was presented to me and is not costing me a dime. And if I can do that who wouldn’t do what I’m doing?” This is in comparison to Bagwell’s interrogatory answers, which he stated he contacted Peterson himself in May 2016 about his royalties. After a further request, Bagwell stated he did not remember who contacted him, but was certain it was not Peterson, and he became aware of his royalty claims from a 2016 royalty suit that was voluntarily dismissed.
This motion followed the motion from last week that requested the court to compel Levy to turn over a March 2016 email from Peterson and to testify about a meeting with Bagwell. However, the current motion focused on phone calls between Levy, Bagwell, and their attorneys, and allegedly improperly redacted information. WWE claimed the alleged redacted information from the call records between Levy, Bagwell, and the law firm will help show that plaintiffs were contacted by Peterson first. In their motion, WWE stated “[t]he redacted information is not privileged and is plainly relevant to establishing that Plaintiffs were improperly solicited to join this lawsuit by Attorney Peterson and to demonstrating the falsity of sworn interrogatory answers provided by Bagwell in an attempt to hide such solicitation.” WWE continues to search for information that would help prove its attorney solicitation claim.