As revealed in the court documents filed in Orange County, Florida, Universal Champion Braun Strowman and former WWE Superstar EC3 have filed a lawsuit against former business partner Eric Holzer on various counts. They include breach of contract, fraud and theft of digital content, to name a few.
The backstory of the relationship between the involved parties and what led to the lawsuit being filed are quite detailed. It all started back in 2018 when Impact Wrestling star EC3 and his friend Jedediah 'JC' Koszewski established an apparel print shop with Holzer. The partnership was later termed as 'Magic City Prints', and the business got underway.
The documents revealed that EC3, real name Michael Hunter Hutter, purchased the printer and invested a lot of money into the business. There was supposedly an unwritten understanding regarding the share of profits, and the company grew as time passed on.
Braun Strowman, real name Adam Scherr, would later get introduced to Magic City Prints by real-life friend EC3. Braun Strowman's interest was to market and push his 'Meat Castle' merchandise, and he invested money to get a share of profits in return. The four men later founded K5 Entertainment Inc.
The lawsuit states that EC3 and Braun Strowman pumped in a lot of personal funds into the businesses, and Holzer took digital content, hardware and software without the consent of Braun Strowman and EC3. The complaint states that Holzer refuses to return to seized material.
Eric Holzer files a motion to dismiss Braun Strowman and EC3's lawsuit
In response to the lawsuit, Holzer has filed a motion, and he even started his GoFundMe page to cover the legal fees for the case.
Holzer issued the following statement on the GoFundMe page, detailing his side of the story:
In 2018, I was involved in starting an apparel print shop, Magic City Prints, with my former friend, Jedediah Koszewski (JC), and his friend and professional wrestler, "EC3" (Michael Hutter). In the beginning, all was well as we worked together to start the business. Soon after Magic City Prints was up and running, EC3 introduced us to fellow WWE Wrestler, "Braun Strowman" (Adam Sherr). Magic City Prints entered into a contract with Braun Strowman to print his Meat Castle clothing line. Thereafter, the four of us began K5 Entertainment Inc., a company which we all owned, and its YouTube Channel ("K5 Network"). At this point, Braun Strowman also requested and purchased a minority share of Magic City Prints. A book could be written about the drama that unfolded, but suffice it to say, there were a number of events that arose developing tension and disagreements among the partners.
To make a long story short, in early March, I was asked by JC, EC3, and Braun Strowman to leave both businesses with no compensation although I had contributed over a year's worth of work to both companies, invested my own money and resources into them, and have a percentage ownership of both businesses. I understand not all business relationships work out, but my family and I weathered hard times while putting aside other guaranteed income to build something "better" for us by making Magic City Prints and K5 Entertainment successful. All things considered, I don't believe it was fair to be asked to leave with no compensation. I tried to amicably work everything out, but those efforts failed. I was then served a lawsuit that was filed by both Braun Strowman, EC3, and Braun Strowman's company, Meat Castle.
They also changed the locks on our business facility without notifying me and have denied me entrance onto the premises even though I am listed on the lease (giving me a right of possession) and continue to be responsible for my portion of the rent. Furthermore, based on their Instagram and other social media posts, I believe that they have continued using the rented space and assets of the former businesses to continue to print t-shirts for new business endeavors (of which I am not a part) and film "wrestling promos" with no compensation to my initial investments. It is my opinion that, under the circumstances, they have not acted in good faith and have breached fiduciary duties that they owe to me as a business partner, and these breaches will be the subject of counterclaims that I will be filing against them. Unfortunately, I am not a wealthy professional wrestler, and it is not easy to fight a court case on a modest income.
I need your help to fund the continuation of my defense and the pursuit of my counterclaims in order to seek justice in this matter. If you are interested in reading more about the case, you can find the documents under case number 2020-CA-004758-O on the Orange County Florida Clerk of Court website. Thank you in advance for all your help. Even the smallest donation makes you a true world champion in my eyes!
You can check out all the details of the lawsuit and the ongoing legal battle here involving SmackDown's Braun Strowman, EC3 and their former business partner. We'll keep you updated on the story as it develops.