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Kelly Klein accuses ROH of covering up Jay Lethal’s sexual misconduct; Lethal responds

Two names who’ve been central to past Ring of Honor controversies are involved in the Sinclair Broadcasting-owned promotions latest, which is also the latest prompted by the #SpeakingOut movement.

In 2018, Jay Lethal was accused by former ROH performer Taeler Hendrix of sabotaging her push when she rejected his advances. The company announced their intention to look into the matter, and that was the last we heard of it.

ACH also claimed the two-time ROH World champ inappropriately used his status within the company, and intimated to issues between Lethal and female talent.

Kelly Klein left the company last year, during her third reign as Women of Honor champion. She says she was fired; ROH COO Joe Koff says her contract wasn’t renewed. Either way, the move came after Klein seconded stories of mismanagement from Joey Mercury, and while Klein’s then-husband BJ Whitmer said she was still dealing with a concussion (something that was central to Mercury’s criticism).

Yesterday (July 6), Klein posted the following in a Twitter thread:

“When [J-Rocc] harassed a female member of [ROH] locker room, he was told to leave and was not welcome back. [clap emoji] MULTIPLE women brought complaints & evidence of sexual misconduct/harassment by Jay Lethal. ROH ignored/covered it up. They only take action when convenient.

“They are hoping to use another ‘investigation’ to wait everyone out until we ‘forget.’ Thank you, ROH for all of the truly wonderful things you do and have done. Now please address the bad behavior. Do better. Right now you continue to CHOOSE not to.

“It’s hard when your faves get called out. Imagine what it’s like to be targeted/harassed by that person & not protected because he/she is a ‘favorite.’ People can be talented, friend to many, good for community, & also take advantage of & abuse others. Not mutually exclusive.

“In fact, qualities that make it hard to accept that a ‘favorite’ could do something horrible are the things they use to gain access to victims & escape accountability. They don’t usually wear a sign or broadcast their bad intentions.”

J-Rocc, a veteran indie wrestler out of Ohio, denied any harassment on his part. He worked a handful of matches with ROH in 2017 - 2018 and has not returned since.

Lethal, who never commented on the Hendrix or ACH allegations, tweeted this statement last night:

“It has always been my choice to use silence to keep my dignity, refrain from publicly attacking people I’m not fond of, and relying on who I have been as a person to speak for itself. I’ve also never wanted to sue MY platform to boost or give attention to any negativity. I do however know and realize that some people will sadly take my silence to mean something else.

The #speakingout movement has given me hope that the industry that I’ve chosen to give my life to will become a better place. I’ve wanted to stand in support of all those brave enough to share their painful stories. Unfortunately I was afraid to due to the lies that are being said about me.

I have never and would never sexually harass, sexually assault, rape or force myself on anyone. I would never use my status to deny anyone opportunities. Even now, it pain me to know that defending myself might somehow tarnish an important movement and cast doubt on real, troubling experiences.”

Ring of Honor has not specifically commented on the matter. In response to a #SpeakingOut story about their booker & top star Marty Scurll sexually abusing a drunk teenager, they issued a blanket statement indicating they’re investigating claims against contracted talent.

The lack of follow-up since that was released on June 25 presumably played a role in Klein speaking out.

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