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Tuesday Story of the Day Replay: The Grand Vizier: Whatever Happened to Defiance Films?

The Grand Vizier writes: Remember Defiance Films? Barely huh? The reason I bring it up is because I recently saw that Eva Angelina and Teagan Presley’s new movie is called Deviance. It got me wondering what happened to Defiance. The last I remembered, Metro was hot on the tail of Defiance, and then it just seemed to disappear.

I made some calls around town and found out that Ron Levi killed Defiance Films (Chapter 11) in an attempt to avoid going to Arbitration with Metro. This action was preceded by Metro crushing Matrix Content in a separate Arbitration hearing. A lot of testimony on the record came out about true ownership of Defiance and who was controlling all the attacks against Metro. Matrix tried to appeal the decision and lost . . . which would have set up the next arbitration with Defiance. However, immediately after the ruling of the arbitrator and the loss on appeal, Defiance Films filed for bankruptcy protection. The bankruptcy seems to put a stay on the Defiance matter, for now.

Ron Levi seems to be the one in control of both Matrix and Defiance. Levi is the one that engineered a federal lawsuit against Metro and others for copyright violations that really didn’t happen. Seems it was a leverage ploy to make Metro stop their attack on Matrix and Defiance for interference of Metro’s business. Norman Bentley, an officer of Matrix, and others stated under oath that Metro had permission to use the pictures that Matrix had claimed a copyright violation.

Meanwhile Defiance is now out of business . . . and Levi has retained control of the company’s assets including inventory, masters, stills and more, yet he has now shut out the the real founders of the company, Simone, O’Connor and Bentley. I also heard that this entire case could have settled long ago, but Levi thought he couldn’t lose, that he was smarter than Guarino. Now Matrix has been ordered to pay $500k in damages, and Levi stuck Bentley with thousands of dollars of legal bills.

During the arbitration hearing and other depositions it came out as part of the official record that Anthony Simone, Keith O’Connor, Norman Bentley and Ron Levi were the 4 founders and owners of Defiance Films. Matrix lawyers (who also happen to be Defiance lawyers paid by Ron Levi) disputed that point and argued that none of the above mentioned people were owners of Defiance and that Kristi Luhar was the only owner of Defiance Films, which everyone knows was a lie. Levi’s lawyers claimed that Simone left his job as Head of Sales for Metro making $65,000 plus commission a year in exchange for a job with Defiance as an employee making $40,000.

Levi’s lawyers tried to convince the arbitrator that O’Connor wrote the business plan for Defiance, came up with the name, designed the logo and quit his job making $200,000 a year as GM and Head of Production at Metro so that he could give the company to Luhar for free and in exchange get a salaried position for $50,000.

At the end of the case, the arbitrator believed Metro’s side of things and blasted the silliness of Levi’s lawyers claims that Luhar was the “sole” owner. In reality, Levi was concerned of the legal action by Kenny Guarino and Metro, and he suggested that none of the 4 owners be listed on the company documents, instead putting Levi’s girlfriend Kristi Luhar as principal and owner. I am told that Luhar never even attended a meeting and knew nothing about the activities of Defiance.

What does all this mean? It’s pretty clear now that Metro is penetrating into the Levi empire and the fact that Luhar was just a front for Defiance planted by Levi. Once the Matrix Arbitration concluded Levi plucked out all the assets of Defiance and closed its doors, even though those doors are still in Levi’s office building in Calabasas. So it looks like this bankruptcy could be challenged as a fraud because all the real founders, Simone, O’Connor and Bentley got screwed out of their 75% ownership.


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