Samantha Tavel, known as Candy Cartwright in professional wrestling, has filed a lawsuit against WWE, Matt Riddle, EVOLVE, and Gabe Sapolsky in a sexual assault lawsuit. Tavel is looking for $10 million from each party.
The suit was announced in a press conference on Thursday in Chicago. Tavel and her attorney, John Chwarzynski, discussed the story she revealed in June during the Speaking Out movement about Matt Riddle sexually assaulting her in 2018.
Chwarzynski claims that Riddle sexually assaulted his client numerous times from 2017 to January 2020. Part of the lawsuit claims Riddle raped Tavel after an EVOLVE show in 2017 in Brooklyn. Riddle is said to have bragged about it to Gabe Sapolsky, who was leading EVOLVE, and other wrestlers.
The lawsuit also claims that Riddle had bookings Tavel made with EVOLVE and WWE canceled in early-2020 after she refused to perform sexual acts on him.
WWE issued a statement on the lawsuit, stating they have not been served with a lawsuit:
“WWE has not been served with a lawsuit by Ms. Tavel. However, if served, we will vigorously defend ourselves and contest it.”
PWInsider also showcased tweets from EVOLVE’s Twitter account showcasing Tavel was still involved with the company after she alleges she was fired in January 2020. One of the tweets shows her in a video filmed in March before the company shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Matt Riddle and his lawyer have not responded to the lawsuit as of this posting. Riddle had previously acknowledged having an affair with Tavel, but insists he never sexually assaulted her. All meetings between them were consensual according to Riddle.
We will continue to follow this story as more becomes available.