Originally published at REPORT: Ashley Massaro accused Vince McMahon of preying on female talent
WARNING: This article contains descriptions of sexual assault
Details continue to emerge regarding Ashley Massaro’s treatment while working for WWE from 2006 until 2008.
VICE’s Tim Marchman has a new report that Massaro alleged Vince McMahon “sexually preyed on female wrestlers” with Massaro being punished for resisting his advances.
Marchman received details of Massaro’s affidavit as a member of the lawsuit launched by lawyer Konstantine Kyros against WWE. The case was dismissed by Judge Vanessa Bryant in 2018 and led to Kyros being ordered to pay over $300,000 for WWE legal fees.
Massaro’s initial statement in the affidavit included details of McMahon preying on women in the locker room and being seen making out with female talent and sexually harassing Massaro.
Massaro claimed that when she refused his advances, McMahon began scripting her promos, which she referred to as “demeaning” and believed that he was trying to ruin her career with the subject matter while adding that she saw the same type of handling with another female talent, whose name was withheld by VICE.
The claims of harassment by McMahon were part of a draft version of Massaro’s affidavit with lawyers Kyros and Erica Mirabella opting to exclude those allegations in the final version “because it wasn’t clearly relevant given that the lawsuit was about concussions”, according to Mirabella.
Massaro’s initials claims were disclosed by Kyros and Mirabella to VICE for the first time:
During my time with the WWE, I had observed Vince McMahon making-out with other divas in the locker room, but he never paid attention to me, and I assumed I was not his type. This changed after my Playboy cover was released. I was fortunate enough to be allowed to fly on the company jet and stay at the same hotels as the executives for a period of time so that I could get home faster to spend more time with my daughter. On one of these occasions, Vince was attempting to get me alone with him in his hotel room late at night and I felt extraordinarily uncomfortable. He began calling the hotel room phone and my cell phone nonstop. I called Kevin Dunn to explain the situation and he said I should tell Vince I was not feeling well and would see him on TV the next day, so I did. Immediately after that night, Vince started writing my promos for me. Vince does not write promos for female wrestlers—that is the job of the creative department—and he certainly wouldn’t have, under any normal circumstances, written a promo for me. But he did, and the promos were written with the clear intention of ruining my career. I brought the first script Vince wrote for me to the WWE employee in charge of Creative at the time, Michael Hayes, and he said, ‘you’re not saying this, who the [expletive] wrote this?’ and I told him that Vince did. He said, ‘Well kid, these are the breaks,’ meaning that Vince wanted to end my career and destroy my reputation on my way out. He is known for this type of behavior and also did this to [REDACTED] upon her departure from WWE. In addition, after that night, each time I walk by him he would make vulgar sexual comments that were clearly designed to make me uncomfortable.
VICE reached out to TKO, who did not comment on the allegations from the draft version of the affidavit, but confirmed to Tim Marchman that Michael Hayes still works at WWE.
Massaro died in May 2019 which led to the disclosure by Kyros of an incident during a WWE tour in Kuwait in 2006 where Massaro claimed she was drugged and raped by an officer.
In 2019, WWE denied they were ever made aware of such an incident, but that was contradicted earlier this week when Edward Brennan, the lawyer for John Laurinaitis, stated his client was aware of the incident but denied that there was a cover-up:
Johnny, like most upper level management at sometime became aware of the allegations and ensured all proper WWE protocols were followed, including privacy for the alleged victim. We object to the use of the term cover up as no such plan or plot ever took place to hide or assist in the alleged rape.
VICE reported this past week that the Naval Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) opened an investigation in June 2019, which concluded the following January but the findings have not been made public yet.