Wrestling diva Charlotte Flair, her wrestling icon dad, Ric “Nature Boy” Flair, and the WWE have settled a $5.5 million defamation lawsuit brought against them by her ex-husband in federal court in Charlotte, court records show.
The sides filed a settlement notice with the court on Thursday, according to a copy of the notice obtained by The Charlotte Observer. The sides “reached agreement on and executed a Settlement Agreement and Mutual Release of All Claims,” according to the notice. Terms were not disclosed.
The lawsuit, filed in October 2018 by Riki Paul Johnson, said the Flairs’ 2017 book, “Second Nature,” defamed him with multiple “falsehoods,” the Observer reported when the lawsuit was filed.
“False assertions” cited by Johnson in his lawsuit included the book’s claim that he physically and psychologically abused the Flairs, and that he is sterile, the Observer reported. He said in his lawsuit that his current wife was pregnant with their child,.
The book also falsely claimed that he was fired from two jobs for drug abuse, Johnson said in the lawsuit. He said his ex-wife made the false assertions to draw sympathy and boost her World Wrestling Entertainment profile.
While the Flairs never responded to media inquiries about Johnson’s claims, TMZ Sports reported a statement from WWE calling Johnson’s lawsuit “meritless.”
The Observer on Saturday emailed requests for comment about the settlement to Charlotte lawyer Trey Lindley, who represents Johnson; Charlotte lawyer Jon Buchan, who represents the WWE and Ric Flair; and to Raleigh lawyer Amanda Martin, who represents Charlotte Flair. The lawyers did not immediately respond.