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“She fantasized about being held down” – Vince McMahon’s Latest Response In The Janel Grant Lawsuit

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Legal representatives acting on behalf of Vince McMahon submitted a 16-page reply to Janel Grant’s previous motion aimed at striking remarks concerning her, her former fiancé, and her parents from the official record. These remarks were made in conjunction with McMahon’s motion seeking to transfer Grant’s lawsuit to private arbitration. The reply to Grant’s motion states:

“Plaintiff’s Motion to Strike is meritless and the height of hypocrisy. Having falsely accused Defendant in a public forum, despite an obligation to arbitrate, in an inflammatory 67- page Complaint that completely disregards the mandate of Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiff now seeks to strike the Preliminary Statement of the Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendant’s Motion to Compel Arbitration (Dkt. No. 30-1) on the purported basis that it is too “inflammatory.” Plaintiff fails to demonstrate, nor could she based on the standard, that this Court should use its “inherent power”—a power that must be exercised with restraint and discretion—to strike a preliminary statement providing context to a motion to compel arbitration. In addition, motions made under Rule 12(f), on which Plaintiff relies, are rarely granted and the Rule is inapplicable here because Defendant’s Preliminary Statement is contained in its Memorandum of Law, which is not a pleading. Even if the Court were to invoke its inherent power and even if Rule 12(f) were somehow applicable, the Motion should be denied as the Preliminary Statement, including the pertinent factual statements within it, provides relevant context to the Motion to Compel Arbitration.

First, Plaintiff’s Motion is based on the misguided premise that the Court should exercise its “inherent power” to impose sanctions—a power that courts “must take pains to exercise restraint and discretion when yielding” and is reserved for bad faith abuses of the judicial process proven by clear evidence—by striking Defendant’s Preliminary Statement. It should not be exercised where a Defendant submits a brief containing pertinent background facts that the Plaintiff purports to find offensive. That power is reserved for bad faith litigation abuses. Plaintiff cites no precedent, nor could she, for a court to invoke its inherent power to strike a preliminary statement for including pertinent background facts.

Second, recognizing that the Court should not invoke its “inherent power” here, Plaintiff relies on inapposite cases brought under Rule 12(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which allows a court to strike immaterial or scandalous allegations from pleadings. Not only are Rule 12(f) motions viewed unfavorably and rarely granted, but the Rule is inapplicable because Defendant’s Preliminary Statement is contained in its Memorandum of Law, which is not a pleading. Even if the Court were to entertain the substantive merits of Plaintiff’s Motion under Rule 12(f) (which it should not), Plaintiff is required to demonstrate that the Preliminary Statement has no bearing on the issues in the case. She cannot do so. The Preliminary Statement provides necessary background and context regarding the parties’ consensual relationship and circumstances under which the Agreement was entered. For example, although Plaintiff quibbles with the term “fiancé” (Plaintiff claims that attorney Brian Goncalves was actually her “exfiancé”), the fact that Plaintiff was living in a luxury multi-million dollar building with another man during her entire relationship with Defendant is relevant context to the validity and enforceability of the arbitration provision, which Defendant bears the initial burden of showing. There is no basis to strike either the entire Preliminary Statement or any sentence within it simply because Plaintiff doesn’t want those facts known to the public.

Plaintiff chose to violate the Parties’ explicit agreement to “preserve the confidential and private nature” of any dispute that may arise by commencing this lawsuit. Ignoring her obligations to keep the nature of their relationship or the dispute private, the Complaint unnecessarily includes private $exual text messages from Defendant without including any of Plaintiff’s responses to those texts—responses which are equally and often more aggressive and provocative than Defendant’s communications and show not only that the relationship was consensual, but also that in many instances the Plaintiff was the initiator. Indeed, while Defendant no longer is in possession of the text messages between the Parties as he deleted them when he broke off the relationship, the discovery in this case will show that Plaintiff sent him $exually explicit images of herself and texted him to say, among other things:

– That she was in love with him and he was the love of her life;

– That he was her best friend;

– That she wanted to have $ex with him and providing graphic detail;

– That she fantasized about being held down, enjoyed being in pain, and wanted rough $ex;

– That she wanted Defendant to watch her have $ex with other people and know about her $ex with others;

– That she wanted Defendant to give her thousands of dollars for clothes, plastic surgery, and other gifts;

– That she wanted to have a future with Defendant even after signing the Agreement; and

– That she wanted Defendant to keep living in the same building, so she could continue to see him, even after signing the Agreement.

Plaintiff sent messages like this to Defendant through the entire duration of their relationship— including through the time they signed the Agreement in January 2022. Plaintiff presumably still has all of these text messages but she did not include them in her publicly filed Complaint because she wanted to paint a distorted, false picture. It is indeed astonishing that after filing her highly salacious Complaint which omitted the truth about her own conduct, Plaintiff now takes issue with purported “mudslinging” and “vicious falsehoods attacking [one’s] moral character” in Defendant’s Motion to Compel Arbitration. (Dkt. Nos. 31 at 1; 31-1 at 3, 4.) Plaintiff cannot have it both ways, and her Motion should be denied for these reasons and those set forth herein.”

The filing further contended that there was no grounds to remove the particular statements regarding Plaintiff’s connections with her parents and Mr. Goncalves from the Preliminary Statement. While Grant asserts that “none of the Statements are relevant,” McMahon’s representatives argue that “They demonstrate the nature of the Parties’ relationship and the circumstance and context under which the Agreement was entered.” They argue that Grant acknowledged the relevance of the facts to the case by initially introducing her personal and emotional state into the argument. McMahon’s representatives then sought to refute her initial statements, stating:

“For example, Plaintiff attempts to paint herself as extremely vulnerable when the Parties met and that she was in a financial crisis from unemployment, partly because of the loss of her parents and the foreclosure on her parents’ home. Based on such allegations, the Complaint alleges that “Ms. Grant entered into the contract under duress and undue influence” because, among other things, “[t]here was a drastic power difference and economic disparity: Ms. Grant, who had never held a paying office job in her life due to caretaking for her parents, was up against McMahon and WWE – titans of the wrestling and entertainment worlds.’

In light of this, there is no basis for Plaintiff to argue that Defendant is not entitled to address her allegations in a public forum. With support from publicly available court filings—not “groundless accusations” as described by Plaintiff—Defendant’s Preliminary Statement refutes Plaintiff’s false allegations and provides necessary context for the Motion to Compel Arbitration by establishing that: (i) when the Parties met, two years had passed since her father passed away, and her mother passed away prior2 ; (ii) Plaintiff responded to requests regarding the foreclosure action by stating she did not want to be associated with “any of this”; (iii) the neighbor of Plaintiff’s parents informed the investigator in the foreclosure action that, before Plaintiff’s mother passed away, the neighbor would visit often, bring food to Plaintiff’s mother, and help around the house; and (iv) Plaintiff’s father lived in a senior home before he passed away, while Plaintiff resided in her luxury apartment with Mr. Goncalves.

These facts bear on the vulnerability Plaintiff alleges 2 Defendant does not suggest that a deadline applies to the grief for losing one’s parents. However, the passage of significant time before the Parties met is relevant to the vulnerability Plaintiff alleges she felt when the Parties met, both emotionally and financially, especially in light of the Complaint’s allegations of “Defendants’ predatory conduct,” and that “Ms. Grant was a subordinate and vulnerable victim to predators.””

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