A judge ordered former anime voice actor Vic Mignogna to pay $223,042.42 in attorney fees to the parties he sued in a failed defamation and tortious interference lawsuit. He was also ordered to pay an additional $15,000 in court sanctions.
Mignogna lost his jobs with Funimation and Rooster Teeth after an internal investigation concerning sexual harassment allegations were made against the fan-favorite voice actor. Fellow voice actors Monica Rial and Jamie Marchi shared their personal sexual harassment experiences with Mignogna.
Mignogna responded to all this by suing Funimation, Jamie Marchi, Monica Rial, and her fiance, Ronald Toye, for defamation and tortious interference. Mignogna was encouraged to file the disastrous lawsuit by Minnesota YouTube lawyer Nick Rekieta.
Rekieta started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the lawsuit. Mignogna’s lawyer in the lawsuit paid for with the GoFundMe funds was Texas attorney Ty Beard.
This is Beard’s bio from his law firm’s website:
Ty Beard is the founder and Senior Partner of Beard Harris Bullock Christie. Originally a solo attorney, Ty decided he wanted to work with the most skilled lawyers he could find. The result was Beard Harris Bullock Christie. Ty practices defamation, tortious interference, business litigation, business transactions and advanced estate planning.
That last part, advanced estate planning, is interesting because it’s been reported Beard is the lawyer who manages Nick Rekieta’s trust fund. Rekieta’s family is allegedly very wealthy.
I almost feel sorry for Vic Mignogna
I believe Mignogna used his position in anime fandom to harass women and young women sexually. Personally, I find the photos first published by Anime News Network to be quite damning. That said, I believe Mignogna was himself a victim of sorts from the terrible advice he received from people who did not have his best interests in mind.
Not only did Mignogna lose the lawsuit, but he must also now come up with the funds to pay the defendant’s legal fees. Maybe the GoFundMe campaign Nick Rekieta set up and controls can now raise this money.
If the people who contributed to this fund in the past had Mignogna’s interests in mind, they would do this, right? If they believed in Mignogna and wanted to support him before, they would certainly do so now that he is looking at a lifetime of financial ruin. If anything, he needs their support more than ever before.
It would probably be best for all parties involved if Vic Mignogna created a new GoFundMe campaign that didn’t involve Nick Rekieta or Ty Beard. As of writing this post, I do not see where a new GoFundMe campaign has been started.
Then again, who should pay Monica Rial, Ronald Toye, and Jamie Marchi’s legal fees? Should they be looking at a lifetime of financial ruin because Mignogna sued them and lost? No, they should not. They did nothing wrong.
Personal responsibility is a virtue
It all comes down to personal responsibility. It doesn’t matter what advice you get from professional YouTubers, and it’s up to you to make the decisions affecting you and your life.
It’s now obvious to everyone Vic Mignogna should never have pursued this lawsuit. That was clearly obvious to me from the beginning. Not only did I think the lawsuit was unwinnable, I thought it would only make the allegations about Mignogna known to people outside the world of anime fandom. That’s precisely what happened. This case was written about extensively in The Dallas Morning News, a newspaper normal people read. This resulted in even non-anime fans knowing about the sexual harassment claims against Vic Mignogna.
Congratulations, I guess, on that.