Jerry McDevitt, the attorney who represents WWE in high-profile cases, went all guns blazing when responding to Martha Hart’s comments which she gave to CBS Sports regarding the lawsuit against WWE.
McDevitt accused the Kansas City lawyer who Martha hired for getting caught “essentially trying to fix the judicial selection process” to get a judge that was more to their liking. When WWE realized what was happening, McDevitt said that they went to the Missouri Supreme Court which appointed an independent judge from outside of Kansas City to oversee the proceedings.
“We were basically trying to find out what happened that night. Martha was not even remotely interested in finding out what happened that night; she just wanted to used it as a vehicle to beat up a business that she didn’t like that her husband was in, the wrestling business,” McDevitt said.
The veteran criminal and civil attorney then added that Martha and her legal team were trying to get other Hart family members to sign a document to support her side in exchange for money, which he called highly illegal and completely improper.
“What happened was some of the members of the Hart family were offended by this because they realized this was wrong…They knew this was wrong and they faxed me those documents, which I fell out of the chair when I read them. I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. This is completely illegal, you can’t do this stuff.’ All of that was then brought to the attention of the judge in Kansas City,” McDevitt said.
The case between WWE and Martha Hart was settled for $18 million, a million dollars more than what WWE originally offered.
McDevitt recounted how Vince McMahon told Martha that he felt responsible that it happened on his watch and wanted to take care of her and her family.
“We offered $17 million to take care of her. How many times does a CEO walk in a room and say he feels responsible? ‘I’m not going to argue, I just feel responsible for what happened.’ They turned it down; they wanted to go to court for their $35 million. Fine, we’ll go and litigate,” McDevitt said.
But the litigation didn’t go far as the next day, he got a call from her attorney in Canada who told him they didn’t want to go to litigation because of the evidence that WWE had in hand.
“They said, ‘If you could put a little more money in. If you can go to $18 million we’ll settle right now.’ That’s how the settlement went down,” he concluded.