Vice News received a previously unreleased statement made by late wrestler Ashley Massaro, who died by apparent suicide in 2019, in which he accused WWE founder and executive Vince McMahon of ‘sexually preying’ on female performers and ‘ruining her reputation’ after she rejected advancements made by McMahon.
Her lawyers obtained the statement as they worked up a sworn affidavit, according to Vice News. It was published shortly after Massaro’s death, in which she also stated that she was ‘raped on a US military base’ in Kuwait while on tour with the WWE, accusing the company’s management of covering up the incident.
In these statements, Ashley Massaro said that she ‘felt extremely uncomfortable’ by McMahon’s attempts to hit on her, saying that ‘he heavily insisted on her to come over to his hotel room alone late at night,’ calling nonstop to her cellphone.
Massaro also states that ‘she saw McMahon ‘making out with female wrestlers in the locker room and sexually harassed her.’ She accused the WWE founder of ‘giving her demeaning scripts’ for her matches after she allegedly rejected his advances, meaning to ‘destroy her career and reputation.’
Ashley Massaro first appeared on WWE in 2005 after winning the WWE Diva Search. She left the company in 2008. In 2016, she joined a class action lawsuit against the wrestling giant ‘alleging that the company concealed risks of injury that caused them neurological damage.’
During that lawsuit, Massaro exposed that she was allegedly raped in Kuwait during a WWE at an American military base. She was found dead at her apartment in New York. At first, the cause of her death was not released to the public, but a USA Today article in 2021 revealed that she died by suicide.