MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Wrestling legend Jerry Lawler reached out to one of his biggest fans who says Lawler’s former podcast partner scammed him out of money. This is an update to a story you saw first on WMC Action News 5 at 10 p.m. last week.
Glenn Moore, Lawler's ex-podcast host, is still MIA. He's accused of pocketing thousands of dollars from fans who thought they were buying custom art or memorabilia from Lawler, including a Memphis man who was willing to take The King to court to get his money back.
“I hate that Jerry is going through this,” Jason Lurie told WMC Action News 5. “This is a mess.”
Lurie, a Lawler super-fan since he was a kid watching Memphis wrestling in the WMC studios, says Lawler called him Wednesday, July 10 and the two talked for more than hour. Lawler’s trying to make things right after Moore allegedly took $1,500 from Lurie last year, promising Lawler would create a large oil painting of Lurie’s cherished cat, Bentley. The painting never arrived and Lurie says his efforts to get his money back from Glenn were unsuccessful. He told WMC Action News 5 he’s been trying to get hold of Lawler for months in order to rectify the situation.
"Jerry sounded very defeated," Lurie said after speaking with his idol. "You could hear it in his voice. He was very humble."
But Moore’s sympathy was tempered with shock and disappointment after he heard an old episode of the Dinner with the King podcast. It originally aired November 29 last year. In it, Moore and Lawler joked about Lurie wanting a painting of his cat.
“You got me another commission,” Lawler said to Moore. “I’ve got to do an oil painting 3 feet by 5 feet.”
Moore replied, “an oil painting of a man’s...” then laughed.
“An oil painting of a man’s cat,” Lawler said, joining in the laughter, “his beloved pet cat.”
"He's a big fan of the show," Moore told Lawler, "a big fan of yours. I think he loves your artwork more than your wrestling."
Lawler chuckled once more and said, “But not more than his cat.”
Listening to the eight-month-old podcast, Lurie realized Jerry was well aware he’d commissioned the painting when he tried to contact him through social media and snail mail this spring to see why the painting was never finished. Lawler contends he never got the messages or any letter from Lurie.
"They're talking about that on the podcast," said Lurie, "and they're mocking Bentley. It just took all the wind out of my sail. I was sad. Bentley is my superhero cat. He's like my child."
Reached by phone as he finished up a trip to Miami, Florida, Lawler told WMC Action News 5 he's been in contact with about a dozen fans who say they, too, were scammed by Glenn Moore.
"One of the main things he was offering people," said Lawler, was signed shirts. I'll definitely take care of anybody that asked for that. And I'll try to make good on the artwork, as well."
After talking with Lawler Wednesday night, Lurie said he instructed his attorneys not to pursue any legal action against his wrestling hero. He said he looks forward to owning custom Jerry Lawler art, thought it probably won't be a painting of Bentley.
"Jerry's a great artist," said Lurie, "but maybe asking him to do a cat wasn't the best thing to do, in hindsight. I"m happy the worst is behind him now and hopefully there won't be any more victims going forward."
Lawler said a pediatric cancer charity was among Moore's alleged victims. He said he has already touched based with the group's founders to figure out a way to fix things. He and Jason, meantime, are supposed to go to lunch next week and talk about a new art commission.
And Jerry wanted to make it very clear: he loves cats, and was just performing on his podcast. The man who rules the ring like such a tough guy said his favorite pet as a child was a cat named Mittens.
Wrestling fans, Lawler says you need to be aware that Glenn Moore may still be trying to make money using his name. Lawler said there’s a bogus deal on social media offering VIP tickets to The Jerry and Jerry Show at his Beale Street club on July 21st. Lawler said the only legitimate place to get tickets for the event is www.championshipwrestlingmemphis.com.