Former WWE wrestler Ashley Massaro’s story has become a large part of the coverage of Vince McMahon’s alleged sex-related offenses. The latest reporting from Vice’s Tim Marchman has uncovered a statement Massaro gave to her lawyers before her 2019 death which supports the notion of a WWE “casting couch”.
Massaro’s statement was given as her legal team worked on a sworn affidavit detailing the rape she says happened during a 2006 WWE show at a United States military base in Kuwait, which company officials allegedly covered up. WWE denied any knowledge of the matter after Massaro’s death in 2019, but Marchman uncovered evidence to the contrary earlier this week.
As the lawsuit the affidavit was written in support of primarily focused on concussion-related workplace safety issues, Massaro’s attorneys decided against including this portion of it. Lawyers Konstantine Kyros and Erica Mirabella have now provided it to Vice. In it, Massaro named one other female wrestler. Vice was unable to reach this person for comment, and therefore did not include their name in their report to protect their privacy.
With that exception, here is Massaro’s statement in full:
During my time with the WWE, I had observed Vince McMahon making-out with other divas [WWE’s term for women wrestlers at during this time] 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.
Dunn is a long-time McMahon lieutenant who led WWE’s production team for decades before leaving the company last December. He was also said to be present when Massaro was counseled to not pursue justice for the alleged rape in Kuwait so as to not damage WWE’s relationship with the military. Hayes is a former wrestler who has worked as a producer at WWE since the late 1990s.
TKO Group — WWE’s parent company since Endeavor’s purchase of the company was finalized last year — declined Vice’s request to comment on Massaro’s statement other than to confirm Hayes’ continued employment. Vice was also unable to reach Dunn or his representatives, and did not get a response from McMahon’s lawyers.
You can reach Marchman’s full report for Vice here.