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FILED DATE: 7/2018 7:20PM 2018L008534 12-Person Jury ae FILED 8/7/2018 7:29 PM IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS DOROTHY BROWN CIRCU COUNTY DEPARTMENT, LAW DIVISION oncur aa 2018L008534 Scott Colton ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) v. ) ) Phillip Jack Brooks ) ) Defendant, ) PLAINTIFF’S VERIFIED COMPLAINT JURY DEMANDED NOW COMES the Plaintiff, Scott Colton (“Colton”), by and through his attomeys, ASHMAN & STEIN, and for his complaint against Defendant, Phillip Jack Brooks (“Brooks”), states as follows: 1, Colton brings this action against Brooks for recovery of damages causally related, and attributable, to Brooks's breach of agreement and fraud. THE PARTIES 2. Colton is a resident of the city of Chicago, State of Ilinois. 3. Brooks is a resident of the city of Chicago, State of Illinois. TURISDICTION AND VENUE, 4, ‘This Court has jurisdiction hereof because the action arises under state law. Venue is proper in the Circuit Court of Cook County because all of the events and omissions giving rise to Colton’s claims occurred in Cook County Mlinois. ALLEGATIONS COMMON TO ALL COUNTS, 5. Colton is a professional wrestler and also publishes a weekly podcast series about professional wrestling entitled "The Art of Wrestling" which addresses issues related to professional wrestling and includes interviews with professional wrestlers. 6. At Brooks’ request, Brooks was interviewed by Colton during episode No. 226 of the Art of Wrestling (the “Podcast”). 7. During the Podcast, Brooks (i) shared his perspectives about his experiences as a wrestler with World Wrestling Entertainment (“WWE”) and his separation from WWE, (ii) expressed his views that WWE wrestlers are disadvantaged by their lack ofa union, (iii) discussed the "toxic environment" created by WWE's Chairman and CEO, (iv) shared his personal feelings of having been creatively stifled during his WWE career, (v) alluded to his concems about creative and payment decisions, and (vi) discussed the role that injuries and other health issues played in his, departure from the WWE. 8. As the host of the Podcast, Colton functioned as questioner and interlocutor of Brooks, at times paraphrasing or repeating statements made by Brooks. 9. On or about December 14, 2014, Colton received an e-mail from counsel to Christopher Amman (“Amman”), a Senior Ringside Physician for WWE, to which there was attached a letter dated December 11, 2014 (the “Demand Letter”). 10. Among other things, the Demand Letter asserted that Colton had caused the dissemination of certain false statements to the general public regarding Amman and demanded that Colton immediately remove the Podcast from further distribution and “within fourteen (14) days ofthe date of this letter you execute a retraction of the false and defamatory statements, in a ‘manner and form to be agreed upon.” A copy of the Demand Letter is attached hereto as Exhibit A. 11. Upon receiving the Demand Letter, Colton notified Brooks of same by text message and Brooks represented to Colton that Brooks would have Brooks’ attomey, Sunny Brenner (“Brenner”), a partner of the firm Loeb & Loeb (the “Loeb Firm”), “handle it”. Copies of the text messages among Colton and Brooks are attached hereto as Group Exhibit B. 12. On December 16, 2014, Colton received the Demand Letter by regular mail and again informed Brooks of same by text message, whereupon Brooks responded to Colton by text messages that he would be talking to Brenner to “game plan” and that Brooks would “ make sure you're 100% covered”. Copies of said text messages among Colton and Brooks are attached hereto as Group Exhibit C. 13. _ Inreliance upon Brooks’s agreement to make sure Colton would be 100% covered”, Colton did not comply with the demands contained in the Demand Letter. 14, On February 19, 2015, Amman filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Case No. 15 L 1752, alleging defamation and false light invasion of privacy and seeking damages jn excess of $1,000,000 from both Colton and Brooks (hereinafter, the “Amman Lawsuit”). 15. OnMarch 3, 2015, Brooks and Colton retained and employed Brenner and the Loeb Firm to defend them in the Amman Lawsuit. 16. Consistent with Brooks representation and agreement to make sure that Colton would be “100% covered” with respect to defending against Amman’s claims, the signed retention agreement among Brooks, Colton and the Loeb Firm provides, inter alia, that the Loeb Firm “Will bill (Brooks) for all of the legal services and expenses that we incur with respect to the Amann.