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Members of Tapout Crew Admit Distributing Mask’s Ashes, Say Sister’s Lawsuit is Just a Cash Grab

(Call us crazy, but we have a hunch two grown men who call themselves “Punkass” and “SkySkrape” may not always weigh the legal consequences of their actions. Pic: CombatLifestyle)

Here come the admissions (and the counter-arguments) in one of the weirdest MMA-related stories we’ve ever heard: The co-founders of MMA’s best known apparel company confirmed through their lawyer on Thursday that they handed out their deceased business partner’s ashes at a memorial service following his 2009 death, but said the amounts were far less than originally reported and that there was “nothing wrong with dividing up a loved one’s ashes” among his close friends. These acknowledgements from Tapout front men Dan “Punkass” Caldwell and Tim “SkySkrape” Katz came after the sister of Charles “Mask” Lewis filed a lawsuit in California this week seeking unspecified damages for the “overwhelming and severe emotional distress” caused by the treatment of her brother’s remains.

Caldwell and Katz fired back that Lewis and his sister were estranged at the time of his death and dismiss her lawsuit as a cash grab. Damn. We’re beginning to think this is one of those situations where everyone is right … and wrong, at the same time. Public responses from both Punkass and ’Skrape are after the jump.

“You all who talk shit should know the whole story first!!!” SkySkrape posted to the UG on Wednesday. “She [Lewis’ sister] is a nut case that charles couldn’t stand (his words not mine)! And I was the closest person to him the past 13 years! She is reaching for SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!!”

“Sad shit!” tweeted Caldwell, who appears in this photograph wearing a necklace bearing a vial with Mask’s name printed on it. “Relatives who hadnt talked to Charles in 10 years now comin out to get money! Not his Ashes! Anyway his ashes belong to his kids!”

Lewis’ sister – still being identified only as “Carla” – contends Caldwell and Katz borrowed Lewis’ ashes for viewing at the public memorial, but says she later learned between 50 and 100 vials containing bits of her brother’s cremated body were distributed to people on a “special list” during the service. She further charges that the men still have the urn containing the ashes and have refused to give them back. Though they now admit to giving out the ashes, Punkass and ’Skrape say it was only a “very small amount.” They also concede they still have Lewis’ ashes – kind of hard to deny when the Orange County Register has published photos of the weird room where they keep them – but say they’ll return the urn “so Mask’s two young children can eventually inherit their father’s remains.”

Caldwell and Katz say Lewis’ “close circle of friends had become his family” at the time of his death. All this seems reasonable, but the actual lawsuit will probably hinge on Carla’s claims that she was the only person with any legal rights over her brother’s ashes. If that’s true, our best guess is that the Tapout Crew is probably going to have to give her some money to go away.

As most of you know, Lewis – who founded Tapout in 1997 with Caldwell and added Katz to the team shortly thereafter — was killed in a car accident during a street race in 2009. The other driver in the race (who was drunk) was later convicted of vehicular manslaughter and sentenced to nine years in prison.

Cagepotato Comments

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David_Banner- May 13, 2011 at 4:49 am
So everybody has a little bit of mask sitting on the desk at the office? Are these motherfuckers completely retarded?? Calling this shit a cash grab is obscene. This chick was actually related to the guy and these two goofballs took his gotdamn remains and handed the shit out like cheese at a Winery. HAHAHA Its going to look like a cash grab when this chick leaves Court owner 18% of Tapout.
irisyyy- May 12, 2011 at 7:53 pm
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The Highest Primate- May 12, 2011 at 7:22 pm
Just give her an urn full of chocolate milk mix..
noname- May 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm
From my understanding of the situating the Tapout guys admit to "borrowing" Mask's ashes and keeping them, and they have decided that Mask's sister does not deserve her brother's remains.
FrontKick Dentist- May 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm
She can have the ass and taint ashes but thats all.
k-onda- May 12, 2011 at 12:46 pm
Oh yeah, this one's going straight to the supreme court. I see it as a kind of custody battle - we got all the retarded douchebags, but in place of the alcohol syndrome brat, we got a pile of dirt.
C-Dong- May 12, 2011 at 12:27 pm
It's Masks fault that he's dead. It's Masks fault that he decided to race against this fucken dude. It's Masks fault that he now put his family and friends through this.......he should have burn up in the accident...too soon?
Uppercut Magnet- May 12, 2011 at 12:18 pm
"Check it out bros, this is gonna be so awesome and respectful and shit! We shot our brotha out of ALL THESE CANNONS! It's what he would've wanted, dawg!"
intercept440- May 12, 2011 at 12:13 pm
who the fuck cares...guy is dead.. and his friends are douchebags..

^let all talk shit about tito^
JCVD as Timecop- May 12, 2011 at 11:54 am
I'm trying to high-five you, but my monitor keeps falling over. Please help.
djp1988- May 12, 2011 at 11:52 am
...Seriously, the fuck is goin' on up in here?
jayray- May 12, 2011 at 11:49 am
I now lots of "metally challenged" people. The trick is to start with the classic stuff like metallica and slayer and then help them move on to heavier bands.
El Guapo- May 12, 2011 at 11:23 am
Tall Guy and Shorty Shitstack make good points. But Crazy Aunt Cece IS his sister. Find out what happens next on... THE PEOPLE'S COURT!
ExpectJesusBro- May 12, 2011 at 11:13 am
The world is full of metally challenged people. Unfortunatly, not all of them ride the short bus.
BONGTAR- May 12, 2011 at 11:11 am
Fried Taco- May 12, 2011 at 11:01 am
SkySkrape and Punkass have submitted as evidence Mask's Facebook page, which clearly shows he "unliked" his sister a long time ago.
Tai-Pan- May 12, 2011 at 10:49 am
Clearly the only solution is to have Carla race the two Tapout douchebags in some sort of street race during the wee hours of the evening. Maybe the pole can up its record to 3-0...
danomite- May 12, 2011 at 10:44 am
dude's dead. that's just a can full of dirt. grow up.
destinationblood- May 12, 2011 at 10:38 am
ashes to ashes and dust to gettin straight paidddddddddddddd....