We first reported on the defamation lawsuit brought by Voice Actor Vic Mignogna against Monica Rial, Ronald Toye, Jamie Marchi and Funimation back in April, but we’ve only provided minor updates since. A lot as happened in the meanwhile though, so we thought it might be time to jump back into this stuff and provide some updates.
We also want to say that this is going to be a brief summary of only the more notable issues at hand, and not every single legal filing. If you’re looking for a larger deep dive, Anime News Network has gone through over a thousand pages of legal filings and has some comprehensive coverage you can check out.
It’s worth your time if you have it.
The Road So Far
For those who haven’t been paying attention, this case was filed in response to a number of women came forward with stories of sexual harassment from Mignogna. In the wake of those allegations, a number of conventions cancelled Mignogna’s appearances (though a number have since invited him afterwards). Mignogna was also let go from Sony owned Funimation and from his role in Rooster Teeth’s RWBY. People who were frustrated with Mignogna began using the hashtag “#kickvic” on social media in reponse as well (though this hashtag has since been co-opted).
A number of Mignogna’s fans (along with a number of GamerGate-esque individuals who jumped on the bandwagon) responded on social media with the “#IStandWithVic” hashtag, and began harassing anyone who would post anything they deemed even mildly critical of Mignogna. Among those throngs was Minnesota based lawyer Nick Rekieta, who started a GoFundMe ostensibly to raise funds for Mignogna to take legal action against his accusers.
Now none of us at Nerd & Tie are lawyers, but our take from the beginning is and has always been that filing a lawsuit was the surest way for Mignogna to permanently torpedo his own professional reputation. I mean even if the allegations were untrue, what organization would want to risk working with him now when other actors of equal talent are available?
Full Disclosure: Nerd & Tie is currently being sued by convention owner Ryan Kopf in the state of Illinois for defamation. You can find out more information and contribute to our GoFundMe here.
Mignogna, represented by Texas based lawyer Ty Beard, apparently doesn’t see things the same way we do, so they then proceeded to file a complaint in Tarrant County Texas.
What’s Happened Since
Quite a bit. Mignogna gave a depositon on June 26th in which he confirmed Marchi’s hair pulling story happened (albeit with a different interpretation). He also admitted to pulling Rial’s hair, though he denies kissing her.
Also there’s a bit around page 126 where, in his own words, he admits to trying to have a threesome with a pair of twins. Which, y’know, is creepy as all get out all on its own.
As the case has drawn on, additional stories have come out about Mignogna — none more notable than the allegations that Mignogna harassed Macross voice actress Mari Iijima. Anime News Network has the full story. I thought about writing up a summary, but honestly… just go read their full piece. It’s worth your time.
In late July Funimation, Marchi, Rial and Toye all filed to have the case dismissed under the TCPA, Texas’s anti-SLAPP law. Originally the judge was set to hear these on August 8th, but Mignogna’s counsel has asked for a continuance. If the Defendants’ motions are successful, this entire case could come to an end very, very soon.
We’ll continue to follow this story as things develop.