Earlier this year, Samantha Tavel (who wrestles under the name Candy Cartwright) came forward with allegations that Matt Riddle sexually assaulted her. Riddle admitted they had an affair, but denied that he sexually assaulted her. He claimed that she was stalking him, which led to Riddle seeking a restraining order against her. Last night, David Bixenspan reported that Matt Riddle voluntarily withdrew his request for a restraining order against Tavel.
Tavel responded to this latest development with the following statement through her lawyer, Allison S. Lovelady, that can be read in its entirety on Tavel’s Twitter:
I would like to thank @TIMESUPLDF for helping me through these difficult months and helping me push back against these claims. I also want to thank everyone who supported me in this. I appreciate every single one of you. pic.twitter.com/nSJUYXByQu— Candy Cartwright (@CandyCartwright) September 17, 2020
Tavel’s lawyer says that her client has experienced online harassment and lost employment opportunities as a result of speaking out on being sexually assaulted by Riddle. She also includes the fact that WWE has actually incorporated these allegations into Matt Riddle’s storyline on SmackDown television:
“Thereafter, Riddle filed a petition for injunction that included false accusations, including that Tavel attended an event in Orlando, Florida where Riddle was present, although she was not even in the state at the time. Riddle’s attorney, Daniel J. Rose, also posted a press release regarding the injunction on Twitter, which resulted in online harassment and retaliation against Tavel.
Tavel has also lost employment, including an opportunity to work with the WWE, and has struggled to find work since. Riddle continues to work for the WWE as a featured performer, and has even alluded to the allegations in his act.”
The statement includes the following response from Tavel:
“I’m relieved that these claims were dismissed, but the damage to my reputation and career remains. I came forward to prevent this from happening to other women, and will continue to fight for justice. It’s not easy to see my name smeared on social media or wake up to hate messages and threats. But I am speaking up because I was inspired by the brave women who came before me. My hope is that other victims of sexual violence feel empowered to share the truth about their experiences as I have done and will continue to do.”