As accusations against Vince McMahon and the WWE continue to pile up, VICE NEWS has obtained a previously unpublished statement by former wrestler Ashley Massaro given before her death that claims McMahon preyed on female wrestlers and ended Massaro’s career because she rejected his sexual advances.
Lawyers collected the statement as part of a 2018 lawsuit filed by Konstantine Kyros and Erica Mirabella, lawyers who represented Massaro and dozens of other WWE wrestlers looking to seek damages related to traumatic brain injuries sustained from wrestling. The lawyers collected statements from wrestlers across the WWE about their experience with the organization.
Massaro’s statement was eventually cut from the final affidavit because it was not clearly relevant to the lawsuit mostly focused on concussions.
“Our colleagues ultimately decided we should focus only on the sexual assault and physical in-ring injuries Ashley sustained,” Mirabella said to VICE, “so I discussed this with Ashley and she agreed that we could remove it, so it was deleted. We then finalized the affidavit, she signed it, and we submitted it to the court.”
Mirabella also noted that Massaro was “extremely detailed, thoughtful, and thorough throughout the entire process,” according to VICE News. Massaro died in 2019 of an apparent suicide.
The statement from Massaro details McMahon “making out” with other female wrestlers in the locker room, harassing Massaro with repeated phone calls late at night, and eventually tanking her career with negative promos after she rejected his sexual advances.
“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,” Massaro said in her statement. “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.”
After this moment, according to Massaro, McMahon took over writing her promos – something he does not do for female wrestlers. In Massaro’s eyes, the promos were specifically written “with the clear intention of ruining [her] career.”
“I brought the first script Vince wrote for me to the WWE employee in charge of Creative at the time, Michael Hayes,” Massaro’s statement read, “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.”
McMahon was also accused of covering up Massaro’s alleged rape at a Kuwait military base in a civil sex trafficking lawsuit. These allegations initially came out in June 2019 but the investigation was closed in January 2020. In Massaro’s affidavit, longtime WWE production chief Kevin Dunn allegedly told Massaro “not to let one bad experience ruin the work they were doing,” referring to her speaking out about her sexual assault. Dunn was unable to be reached for comment, and a lawyer said to represent McMahon did not respond to a request for comment.