Details from the Sonnen-Gamble case aren't being shared

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Chael Sonnen opened Mean Street Pizza with Lee Gamble in the spring of 2012. It is located in the Cascade Summit shopping center off Salamo Road.A case pitting UFC fighter Chael Sonnen against a former business partner has been settled in Clackamas County Circuit Court.

The resolution ends a legal fight that began with a lawsuit filed last February, when Sonnen sued business partner Lee Gamble for $42,600 on claims of embezzlement, an unpaid loan and overdue rent. Sonnen, who in Ultimate Fighting Championship interviews has described himself as a gangster from the “mean streets of West Linn,” opened Mean Street Pizza with Gamble in spring 2012.

Gamble fought back with a countersuit seeking $400,000 from Sonnen for wage reimbursement, his stake in their business and damage to his reputation and career.

Details of the settlement were unavailable. An attorney representing Sonnen confirmed the case was dismissed in November but declined to comment. An attorney who represented Gamble did not respond to a request for comment.

Sonnen accused Gamble of embezzling $20,000 from Mean Street Pizza, borrowing $10,000 without paying it back and neglecting to pay thousands of dollars in rent for a home Sonnen owns in West Linn. He also wanted to oust Gamble from their company.

Gamble denied embezzling any money, said business assets were illegally seized and accused Sonnen of using the lawsuit to promote his fighter persona as “a gangster who lives by his own rules.”

“While Chael was busy building up to big fights, I was busy building our business,” Gamble said in a press release after filing his countersuit. “I ran the day-to-day operations, but now that Chael needs to attract attention for his next big fight, I have become the latest casualty in his need for hype.”

Gamble said Mean Street Pizza’s customer base was built around his involvement in the West Linn community.

In addition to his fighting career, Sonnen is a television UFC analyst, former Realtor and one-time Republican nominee for the House District 37 seat now held by state Rep. Julie Parrish.

Kara Hansen can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 107. Follow her on Twitter, @LOreporter

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