Matt Hardy’s wife, Reby Hardy, recently spoke with Sports Illustrated and below are some interview highlights:
Are the Hardys willing to go to court to pursue the IP? Are you optimistic of a judge or jury ruling in your favor?
“Going to the court is not like going to the grocery store. There is a lot of money involved in a legal case, which is another reason why Anthem is dragging this out as long as they can. Jeff Jarrett said, “Just keep dragging it out, they’ll get tired of spending money.” We would rather settle this like civil human beings, which is what we have tried to do for months and months.
“There are so many things that, if we choose to go to court, we can also add into the case. Senor Benjamin, who is my father, never signed a release to have his image be marketed. Technically, they should not have been able to air his footage. They do not have a release for my son, Maxel, who had no written documents saying he could be on set at Universal Studios, which could jeopardize their relationship with the place where they film on a monthly basis. There is also the fact that I created—shot, directed, and edited—so much footage that I never gave them a release to use, either.”
Anthem also denies that it ever asked for a significant percent of Hardy merchandise, including Jeff Hardy’s art work and music, as well as stated that the contracts offered to Matt and Jeff were almost close to equal in terms of pay. Is the company being truthful, and where do we go from here?
“We literally have those documents in email form from Ed Nordholm.
“In one of the contracts, Anthem snuck in a percentage the company would be owed from any income from ShopMattHardy.com and JeffHardyBrand.com. The fact that they would feel entitled to that is a joke. Jeff Hardy’s site is literally his paintings and music; it has nothing to do with wrestling and is an artistic venture. Why are they entitled to any of that? To slide that into the contract was a real shady move, and we have the documents to prove it.
“Jeff Jarrett’s plan was to give Jeff Hardy all the money, and he actually said to pay Matt as little as possible because he believed Matt could not go anywhere without Jeff Hardy. I had reservations about WWE for a long time, but I forgot all of my reservations and our loyalty to the TNA brand after I learned that.
“F— these guys, to put it bluntly. After Matt financed his own shoots and put hours and hours of his own time writing the shows? F— these guys. We didn’t have any scripts. They’re claiming IP, they’re claiming this is their character and development, but we never had one script or one shoot sheet. That was all Matt pouring himself into the character and dedicating himself to it.
“The amount of time and effort he put into this made it his brainchild, which is why this is more of a personal matter than business. It was all our creation, and we can easily prove that it was all us, and it’s nothing but ego on their end. Matt refused to re-sign, they really believed that he could not go anywhere else, and we called them out on their bluff. Ed Nordholm actually told Jeff Hardy’s attorney, “Tell them to go to WWE.” Is that the way you negotiate? To try to get someone to sign a s— contract to work at your s— company for s— money? When it comes down to it, this comes down to their ego versus all of the time, effort, and passion we have put into this project and gimmick.
“This is a personal investment vs. ego. I feel like there will never be an agreement without going to court.”