Vic Mignogna Sues Funimation, Jamie Marchi, Monica Rial, Ronald Toye
posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Voice actor Vic Mignogna filed a lawsuit against the anime distributor Funimation, voice actresses Jamie Marchi and Monica Rial, and Rial's fiancé Ronald Toye (whom the lawsuit alleges is "either a Funimation agent or employee") on Thursday in Tarrant County, Texas. Mignogna claims defamation, interference in existing contracts and prospective business relations, and civil conspiracy over the defendants' Twitter posts and Funimation's investigation against Mignogna for alleged sexual harassment.
Mignogna is seeking "monetary relief over $1,000,000.00" in part due to Funimation no longer contracting him for future productions, as well as conventions canceling his appearances. Mignogna and his lawyer are also seeking "judgment against the Defendants for actual, consequential and punitive damages according to the claims ... in amounts to be determined on final hearing, pre- and post-judgment interest at the highest rate permitted by law, and costs of court" in addition to "such other and further relief to which he may be justly or equitably entitled" and "general relief."
Mignogna is represented by Ty Beard of Beard Harris Bullock Hughes in Tyler, Texas.
The lawsuit alleges that Sony executive Tammi Denbow told Mignogna in mid-January she was "investigating three allegations of sexual harassment against him," and that on January 29 "Denbow and another Sony executive informed [Mignogna] that his employment with Funimation was terminated" following an investigation. Denbow is listed on LinkedIn as "Executive Director, Employee Relations at Sony Pictures Entertainment." Sony Pictures Television Networks acquired a majority stake in FUNimation in October 2017.
The lawsuit mentioned that "[o]n February 5, 2019, Funimation informed Anime News Network that Vic's employment had been terminated." ANN did not report on February 5 that Mignogna's employment had been terminated, but reported that he was recast in the English dub of The Morose Mononokean II anime. Funimation posted a public statement on Twitter on February 11 that it would not engage Mignogna on future productions.
Mignogna has been accused by a number of con attendees of kissing and embracing them without consent over the course of his career with some allegations dating back to 2008. These allegations spread on social media earlier this year. Fellow voice actors have publicly issued anecdotes of their personal experiences with Mignogna or support for those speaking out via social media.
Mignogna issued an apology at the Bak-Anime event in early February, and posted a public statement later that month. On February 21, Mignogna posted another statement on Twitter that read, "I have now very reluctantly retained a law firm as my last and only recourse to attempt to salvage my reputation and my 20-year career in this industry."