The Vic Mignogna Circus

Over the course of the last year, the rumblings in the shadows of the community have come to light about Vic Mignogna in quite the dramatic way. There have been stories for a long time about his actions and attitude around the convention scene told by various attendees, mutual guests, and convention staff, but with the activity of the #MeToo movement, it wasn’t a surprise that it has come to a head. Others have been outed for various bad behaviors as well, but with Vic being a very well known voice actor, it’s been quite the story to follow.

While the stories had all been constantly followed by the anime community, it came to a head when Mignogna’s now former coworkers, Monica Rial and Jamie Marchi, stepped forward and accused him of sexual harassment and assault. After an investigation done by Funimation, Vic was released from his contracts with them and subsequently others, like Rooster Teeth, have done the same.

Vic Mignogna at this point decided to pursue legal action against his accusers and his former employer, putting together an extensive civil suit filed on April 18. The suit alleged defamation, tortious interference, conspiracy and other charges against Funimation, Jamie Marchi, Monica Rial, and Rial’s fiancé, Ron Toye. The lawsuit made it appear like the company and three individuals banded together to lead Mignogna to ruins. A GoFundMe was also created for the accused voice actor to help with finances and he hired a now well-known attorney, Ty Beard, to represent his case.

As per Anime News Network’s continually updated article, “Following July’s earlier filings by the defense, Mignogna’s legal counsel Ty Beard was on a deadline to file his response by August 30, as previously agreed by both parties. Beard missed his deadline by a matter of minutes but what was filed would feed into a new round of rumors and speculation about the talent working at Funimation. Beard followed up with a notice to withdraw all three notarized affidavits due to “defects in form” and the court judge ruled against his motion to strike the defense’s evidence.

“The defense has responded calling for sanctions and alleging illegal conduct by Beard and Co-counsel Jim E. Bullock under suspicion that the affidavits, which were notarized by Beard himself, were falsified. In the state of Texas, a notarized document has to be signed in the presence of the notary. The defense’s counsel is calling into question whether Mignogna, KamehaCon owner Christopher Slatosch, and voice actor Chuck Huber actually appeared in front of Ty Beard on August 30 when the documents were notarized. Slastoch was allegedly attending the San Japan Convention at that time, according to a photo with a timestamp on Instagram, located in San Antonio and approximately five hours away from Beard’s office in Tyler, Texas.

“Additionally, Beard filed a motion for the court to accept the late filing citing “technical issues” as the cause .The filing itself was 27 minutes past deadline, however the attached notification of submission error shows that Beard’s partner Jim Bullock did not attempt to upload the files to the court system until 12:15 a.m. on August 31. Beard followed with a second amended petition on September 2 that included the previous affidavits, however they were no longer notarized like those included in the original filing.”

On September 6, the case made it to the 141st District Court before Judge Chupp and the circus finally had its stage. Vic Mignogna wasn’t present for the mess, but his representatives were and made it abundantly clear that they weren’t prepared for the suit. From the beginning to the end of the proceedings, which went an hour longer than the court had allocated, Beard stumbled and fumbled through. At the end of that Friday’s proceedings, the judge dismissed all claims against Marchi, all except defamation against Funimation and all except defamation and conspiracy against Rial and Toye.

Going back to court on the 17th, Judge Chupp called attorneys for both sides to his courtroom and ordered them to mediate by October 3. If mediation is not successful, he told the lawyers, he would rule on all outstanding orders the following day. He also shared several of the threats he had received during the proceedings and called on both sets of attorneys to refrain from instigating their supporters. It’ll be interesting if any mediation takes place, but judging by what has occurred thus far, it’s safe to assume that it will probably end up in Chupp’s hands.

Of course, the fans have all been taking sides, and honestly, both sides have done their parts for harassing all the voice actors and others involved. It should be noted that this is still an ongoing case and everyone should wait until everything is said and done. Doxxing people, constantly berating them on social media, making threats of violence, and/or verbally assaulting their families are not the way to go; take what it is decided and let it go.

Edit: As of October 4th, mediation attempts were unsuccessful and Judge Chupp dismissed the remaining claims in the defamation lawsuit that Mignogna filed against his former employer, two of his Dallas-area colleagues and the fiancé of one of the women. Next up for the court is to sort out attorney’s fees, which could easily total up to half a million dollars, and mandatory sanctions.

Yunie

A cosplayer for over a decade now, Yunie is a giant nerd who still pretends she’s cool. She runs several sites on her own, including Engi no Shouzoku! Cosplay, Cosplay Blog with a Brain, and her store, Yunie’s Designs. An avid fan of fellow nerds, Yunie loves attending conventions and dorking around in costumes with all types. Oh, and if there’s shenanigans, even better!

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