Ford Motor Company is suing the actor and WWE superstar John Cena after it says he broke a contract not to resell a high-end sports car, according to a lawsuit filed this week.
The breach of contract lawsuit filed in federal district court in Michigan alleges that Cena, for many years one of the wrestling network’s biggest stars, resold a limited edition Ford GT, that buyers must agree to keep for two years.
Cena, 40, paid about $460,000 for the 650 horsepower sports car in liquid blue, which was delivered to him around the end of September, the complaint said. The theme of the car’s interior design was listed as “Dark Energy.”
Cena had agreed to the company’s conditions about the car’s purchase in an online application, as well as a notarized release that he signed to purchase it, according to the suit.
By the end of October, Cena had sold the car without the company’s knowledge, along with some other assets “for cash to take care of expenses,” the suit alleges. After the company confronted him about it, Cena admitted to the sale and promised to “make it right,” but, per the suit, he allegedly never did.
TMZ first reported the lawsuit.
According to Forbes, Cena earned a WWE salary of $8 million in 2016. The wrestler has increasingly built up his film portfolio, as well, appearing in movies such as “Daddy’s Home,” “Daddy’s Home 2,” and “Trainwreck.”
Cena did not respond to an immediate request for comment sent to the talent agency that represents him, ICM Partners. Ford declined to comment through spokesman Wes Sherwood but said that “all Ford GT customers sign contracts, which include an agreement not to sell the car for at least two years.”
The lawsuit provides a window into the rarefied world of ultrahigh end products, where many companies seek to engineer exclusivity in order make their goods more appealing.
Ford outlines its conditions for the GT sales in the lawsuit, noting that it produced less cars than it thinks it could sell.
“Accordingly, Ford reserves these unique vehicles for only those individuals who truly desire a special ownership experience, such as car enthusiasts and collectors, those individuals who will be influencers and ambassadors of the vehicle and the Ford brand, and those individuals who truly desire to maintain ownership of the vehicle for their own use,” the lawsuit states.
Cena completed an online application on Ford’s website to purchase the car, according to the suit. The application asks would-be purchasers about “their relationship with Ford and Ford products, their car collections, their public influence, their involvement in the motor sports community, their vehicle-related charitable activities,” among other things.
Applicants were also invited to post a link to a video or photographs with their application to demonstrate why they’d be good owners.
According to the lawsuit, Cena acknowledged in his application that he was aware of the company’s desire to be selective and that the car would go an owner who “truly deserved it.”
“That being said, I am so absolutely astounded by what the Ford team has done with this new design, if I were to be deemed fit for ownership I would most certainly use every vehicle of communication to let the world know about the car, the brand, and the experience,” he wrote, according to the lawsuit.
Ford claims that it has suffered damages and losses” from Cena’s action including “loss of brand value, ambassador activity, and customer goodwill due to the improper sale.”