October 25, 2014

Elyria
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Lawsuit settled between Elyria Olympian and her parents

Robert and JoAnn Madison speak at Ely Square during a rally before their daughter Tianna appeared in the London Summer Olympics last year.

Tianna Madison’s parents have settled the lawsuit they filed against their daughter last year accusing the Olympic gold medalist of libel, slander and defamation.

Madison

Scott Schooler, who represented Jo Ann and Robert Madison, said paperwork has been filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court to dismiss the lawsuit, which was filed last year.

“The parties and their representatives announced the parties will attempt to resolve this matter and the lawsuit will be dismissed prior to the filing of an answer and counterclaim by Tianna Madison,” Schooler said in a statement agreed to by both sides of the dispute. “There will be no monetary payment made by any party to any other party.”

The lawsuit, which was filed in September shortly after Tianna Madison won gold at the London Olympic Games as a member of the women’s 4×100 meter relay team, also named Tianna Madison’s husband, John Bartoletta, as a defendant.

According to the Madisons’ lawsuit, Bartoletta indicated to his wife’s parents on March 17, 2012, that Tianna Madison was planning to sue them for mismanaging her finances and abusing their power of attorney.

That lawsuit was never filed and the elder Madisons’ lawsuit said that Bartoletta hired a bodyguard to protect his wife.

Her parents denied those allegations and others that they allowed a boy into their house who molested Tianna Madison. They have said they knew nothing about any molestation of their daughter.

The lawsuit accused Tianna Madison and Bartoletta of shopping a story to various media outlets, including The Plain Dealer, about her life with her parents. The Plain Dealer later ran an exclusive blog written by Tianna Madison in the runup to the Olympics.

On Aug. 11, the lawsuit said, Tianna Madison sent her parents a text message telling them that after the Olympics, “she would ‘break the story’ of the Madisons’ ‘selfish, controlling and utterly abusive ways and treatment.’” The text warned that “it was going to be brutal.”

Schooler previously has said that his clients did stop providing financial support to their daughter a few years ago and said the lawsuit was aimed more at reconciliation than winning any money for themselves.

On Tuesday, he said he could only relay the agreed-upon statement and otherwise couldn’t discuss the case.

“The parties acknowledge that public comment and statements have been made which led to the legal dispute,” he quoted the statement as saying. “At this time, Tianna Madison has expressed a desire to have no contact, business or otherwise, with Robert, Jo Ann and Christiana (her sister) Madison. It is the hope of the family that they can bring about a resolution. The family will approach this matter with mutual hope and a spirit of forgiveness. The Madison family holds fast to their hope and faith in their God.”

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.