Yesterday, we publicised Tammy Sytch's allegations from a recently taped shoot interview with Kayfabe Commentaries that WWE had mistreated her in how they had handled her drug rehabilitation program last year.
The former WWE Diva known as Sunny claimed that the company had kicked her out of a treatment facility that cost them $1,000 a day as soon as Linda McMahon had lost her election campaign and immediately transferred her to the cheapest possible alternative place, which was in an appalling condition and where she suffered inhumane treatment.
When Sytch complained to a WWE official about the changed environment and brought up the amount of money they had spent on Scott Hall's numerous failed rehab stays, apparently she was bluntly told "Well, you're not Scott Hall" and thus didn't deserve the same standard of care.
Today, WWE issued the following statement to Cageside Seats in response to Sytch's allegations:
"As part of the Former Talent Rehabilitation Program, WWE has sent Ms. Sytch to rehabilitation numerous times, with all costs covered by WWE. Unfortunately, Ms. Sytch has continued to make poor personal choices and is ultimately responsible for the consequences of these decisions. WWE has always provided rehabilitation at a certified treatment center; however, given Ms. Sytch’s inability to change her lifestyle and successfully complete treatment, WWE will no longer fund her rehabilitation."
This is a notable announcement because it's the first time that WWE has ever publicly announced that they would no longer pay for one of their former talent's rehab needs.
However, in a New York Times article on July 15th, 2010 entitled "A Senate Run Brings Wrestling Into Spotlight" the late Chris Kanyon's brother claimed that WWE had never gotten in touch with Kanyon after he had sought help through their assistance program in 2008. WWE's response to this was that they didn't contact him personally at the time because he was involved in a group lawsuit against the company for independent contractor misclassification, a case he ultimately lost, but they did reach out to his lawyer to inform him that their rehab program was solely for substance abuse problems and didn't include mental health provision.
It's certainly understandable for WWE to have washed their hands of Sytch at this point, when she exploited their open-ended offer of rehabilitation assistance specifically to avoid going to jail, didn't make a good faith effort to take the treatment seriously and then badmouthed the company to make a fast buck on the shoot interview DVD circuit. But one wonders whether such a decision is at odds with the magnanimous spirit the offer was originally given in.
The phrase "never bite the hand that feeds you" comes to mind. Maybe Tammy Sytch will remember that in the future.