The ongoing legal battle between TNA wrestling star the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and pro wrestling collectible company Highspots.com is coming to an end. How it will end will be up to Flair. Flair has been ordered to pay up or strut to jail on June 27.
This month’s Ric Flair legal story centers on the lawsuit that Highspots.com filed against Ric Flair last year. After failing to live up to the terms of mediation, North Carolina has issued an arrest order for Flair. Flair has been found in willful contempt of court and will either abide by the terms of the mediation or go to jail for a maximum period of 90 days beginning June 27.
[adinserter block=”2″]According to the latest ruling, Flair has to either pay $35,000 or give up his NWA world championship belt to Highspots.com along with 300 signed photos (maybe it’s just me but I found that kind of humorous). The court found that Flair has the “assets and income required” to meet the terms of the agreement. Flair is now in contempt of court and has a month to make good on the restitution.
Mike Johnson over at PWInsider.com continues to knock it out of the park with his coverage of the case. Johnson got his hands on the court order and posted excerpts of the website. Visit their website to read the entire story. The basic gist of the court’s decision is that the court feels that Flair has enough money (and the belt) to pay up and are tired of the Nature Boy playing games.
“Therefore it is ordered, adjudged and decreed that Defendant Richard Fliehr is hereby held in civil contempt for his failure to comply with the Consent Order to Enforce Settlement and that the Defendant be imprisoned for as long as he remains in civil contempt for a period not to exceed ninety (90) days from his date of imprisonment. This imprisonment shall commence on June 27, 2011 without further action of the court.”
Flair can make restitution without writing any checks. The court says that Flair can relinquish his NWA belt (no word on whether Bob Geigel needs to be present) in lieu of the $35,000. Unfortunately for the former NWA & WWE world champion it was reported that there is a lien on the belt which would prohibit Flair from using the gold to complete the transaction. In other words, it looks like the Nature Boy is going to have to ante up some cold hard cash.
I am certainly a big Flair fan but it is nice to see the court tired of Flair’s games and ordering him to make restitution. This has been an ongoing case and by the court documents it appears that Flair has failed to make good on numerous promises to pay back Highspots.com. The agreement in question was reportedly made back in February, while this entire disagreement goes back to August of 2010. For almost a year Flair has been jerking these guys around. Flair is lucky he didn’t receive a more harsh punishment.
It isn’t a full win for Michael Bochicchio, owner of Highspots.com. The disagreement alleges that Bochicchio says he paid Flair $35,000 and $31,000 for appearances. Bochicchio was seeking not only the $35,000 but a part of the $31,000 for appearances that Flair allegedly never made as part of the agreement. Bochicchio will have to settle for 300 signed photos in lieu of cash.
The order is also corroboration of Highspots’ story that Flair ripped them off of $35,000. Flair also has an ongoing legal battle with Ring of Honor which may get tougher now that Sinclair will be bringing their lawyers on board. As much as I loved Ric Flair the wrestler these legal woes don’t do a whole lot for Ric Flair the man.
[adinserter block=”1″]Between his lottery deal and TNA, Flair is making a nice living these days. Writing a check for $35,000 is like a night out for Flair according to some reports I have heard about Flair’s nights out on the town in his prime. Jerking around the little guy or the “mark” may have been okay for someone else but it is nice to see someone like Highspots.com (and Cary Silkin) stand up to Flair and expose him for who he is. I love the Nature Boy but it is really hard to look at him the same after following his actions of the last few years.
Not that I want to see Ric Flair in jail, but could you imagine that episode of MSNBC Lockup?