The death of Ashley Massaro on May 16 by apparent suicide led to her involvement in a class action suit against WWE resurfacing. Though the case was dismissed last fall, lawyer Konstantine Kyros posted the entire 15 page affidavit Massaro submitted to the court in 2016 to his website the day after she died.
In the documents, Massaro alleges she was drugged and sexually assaulted while touring a U.S. Army base in Kuwait for WWE in 2006. Further, she claimed that when she told company officials - including Kevin Dunn, John Laurinaitis, and Vince McMahon - about the rape, she was counseled to keep quiet. WWE filed a motion in response to the claims denying Massaro ever reported the assault to anyone affiliated with the company, and that others heard her saying a doctor who treated her for dehydration “had done an inappropriate pelvic exam.” The sexual assault allegations were thrown out of the case, as it was deemed not relevant to its main focus: the long-term effects of concussions.
WWE initially responded to the republishing of the documents and the claims made within on Saturday (May 18) by providing the New York Post with an email Massaro sent them in October of last year apologizing for her involvement in the lawsuit. She wrote that Kyros “poached” her, and the legal battle “got out of control fast.” Kyros responded by saying he never saw the email, and arguing its legal validity since she never withdrew from the case.
Earlier this evening (May 22), WWE issued a more detailed statement directly refuting the accusations the company’s management was aware of or encouraged Massaro to cover up a sexual assault:
“WWE is saddened by the death of Ashley Massaro, and we reiterate our condolences to her family. However, we regret that her attorney Konstantine Kyros, who filed multiple cases against WWE, lost all of them, and was sanctioned multiple times by the Court for repeated misconduct and false allegations, is using Ashley’s death to further his malicious campaign against WWE by releasing an affidavit that she submitted to the Court and later apologized to WWE for being involved with, so we wish to make certain things crystal clear.
At no time was Vince McMahon or the management of WWE ever informed by Ashley Massaro or anybody else that she had been sexually assaulted, drugged, raped or sodomized by a military doctor with a nurse standing guard while on a goodwill tour in 2007 to U.S. military bases in Kuwait. In fact, if she ever articulated such a claim to WWE, we would have reported it immediately to the Base Commander.
At no time was there ever a meeting with Vince McMahon, Kevin Dunn, John Laurinaitis or other company executives in which she told them of such a claim and was instructed to keep it quiet.”
While the sexual assault has become the main focus of this controversy, it was not the main focus of the case or Massaro’s 2016 affidavit. Instead, on concussions and treatment of same during her time in WWE, she wrote:
“To this day, I suffer from depression, for which I take medication; migraine headaches; and severe short-term memory loss.
I attribute these issues to my work-related injuries sustained while working for the WWE, and specifically to the routine repetitive blows to the head I received in the ring over the course of my care which were not properly diagnosed or treated.”
Even as these elements of Massaro’s career and life are being re-examined, we’d ask you also pay attention to efforts by Ashley’s former co-workers to help her 18 year old daughter pay for her post-secondary education. You can find information about the GoFundMe started by Lillian Garcia and others here.