We’ve written extensively about Ultimate Women Challenge, when what was supposed to be filming for a women’s reality fight TV show but turned into a debacle that resembled a kidnapping scenario, where female fighters had to ration food, were exploited for advertising purposes and were barely able to train in addition to getting stiffed out of the paycheck promised in their contracts. Sanctioned fights which took place over a year ago are still being held hostage by the Athletic Commission.
The latest update we posted was way back in April. To summarize, the women sued for the payment owed to them, the show could not be sold (possibly due to footage which disappeared when the film crew was not paid…and possibly due to the fact that the fighters weren’t paid). Then, Tuff TV bought rights to the show and launched a ridiculous countersuit, in which they try to hold fighters accountable for breaking a confidentiality clause by filing a lawsuit without sealing the results in which one might deduce show winners.
This lawsuit has finally been dismissed was because it was filed in Chicago, and the court lacked jurisdiction to hear it–since none of the defendants live in Illinois, and the show was filmed in Utah and Nevada. It’s hard to imagine that the plaintiff was unaware that the lawsuit had no basis to be filed in Illinois, so sanctions may be warranted. (Here, pay this fine for wasting everybody’s time.)
Indeed, the court has given the attorney representing the female fighters permission to ask for sanctions against the plaintiff and its attorney. (In English, this means that the dude representing the fighters can ask the court to make the dummies at Tuff TV pay a penalty to the court or pay the attorney fees his clients incurred in this litigation since they wasted everyone’s time with a lawsuit filed in a state that had no jurisdiction to hear the case.) The motion is pending, and Tuff TV has until Friday to file a response. If they file a response, the attorney representing the fighters can file a reply by March 16th, and then they wait for the judge to decide whether he will issue sanctions and what the form will be.
In addition, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the lawyer representing the fighters, Barry Rose, for alleged tortious interference with a contract the plaintiff had with Tuff TV. Sounds like another BS lawsuit which will be dismissed, but we’re not lawyers, we just play them on the internet.
(Correction: We have since learned that it was not Tuff TV who has filed a lawsuit, but, SME LLC which claimed the female fighters tortiously interfered with the program being marketed to Tuff TV because of the statements attorney Barry Rose made to Tuff TV on their behalf. SME, LC made a similar claim in a recent lawsuit against Rose, but Tuff TV was not a party to either lawsuit.)
Although the female fighters who were not paid could still sue Sean Morrison for the money contractually owed to them, Morrison has created an LLC which likely has no money in it, so they would not be likely to collect the money due to them unless Morrison is held personally liable, which is rarely done.
Interestingly enough, Sean Morrison is running for the Cook County Board of Review, the government body that hears property tax appeals. State GOP Chairman Pat Brady is calling on Morrison to withdraw from the race… and show participants Michelle Ould and Angela Magana were happy to speak to Fox Chicago via Skype. They may never get the money owed to them, but at least they are getting the word out. Watch for yourself… and, as always, we’ll post ongoing details in the never-ending scandal as they become available.