Ashley Massaro is still involved with the wrestling business, but she got started in the ring with WWE. It was never the best relationship. Even though their partnership has been over for many years now, there is still trouble brewing. Massaro is claiming that she was sexually assaulted in 2006 when WWE visited a United States military base and that when she told the company, they advised her to keep quiet about it.
According to the Boston Globe, Massaro filed documents this past week to become part of a head-injury lawsuit being brought against WWE. That lawsuit now includes more than 50 former employees of WWE, but it was something else that Massaro mentioned which is getting a lot more attention.
In the documents, she claims that back in 2006, she was sent to a United States military base for a WWE-sanctioned trip which was not the yearly Tribute to the Troops holiday special. She went to the Middle East with Maria Kanellis, Ron Simmons, and Jimmy Hart.
Massaro claims that during that trip, she was sexually assaulted while on the base and that she reported the incident to WWE. It is then that executives within the company allegedly convinced her to keep quiet about it as stated in the recently filed documents.
“Upon her return to the United States, she was seen by Dr. Rios who interviewed her about the incident. Dr. Rios reported the incident to WWE executives who soon thereafter met with Massaro to apologize for their negligence but persuaded her that it would be best not to report it to appropriate authorities.”
Ashley Massaro’s lawyer also commented on the situation, and speaking on behalf of his client, he berated WWE for their actions a decade ago.
“This incredible situation derives from the WWE’s employment misclassification scheme wherein the WWE (deems itself) neither responsible for Massaro’s safety (despite being on a WWE tour in the Middle East) nor does the WWE deem itself responsible to report or collect data about incidents such as this. The WWE in order to protect its public image and insulate itself from paying for its injured workers prefers to remain silent.”
So far, there has been no public comment from WWE regarding this situation, and they may not do so while the case is ongoing. The head-injury lawsuit is one thing as it just keeps on growing, but this latest claim from Ashley Massaro is a whole other ballgame.
In an odd and disturbing touch of irony, the official website of WWE posted an article about the trip to Kuwait that the company was going on. The article talks about the upcoming trip and how Ashley had been involved with a similar WWE trip to Afghanistan in December of 2005.
Speaking about the trip to Kuwait in 2006, though, Massaro talked about having trust in her company.
“Anything can happen going over to the Middle East. But my company takes care of me, and I trust them. I have full faith that I will come back exactly the way I left, if not a little bit better in the heart.”
Along with the documents filed for the head-injury lawsuit and sexual assault claim, Massaro also had several health and safety complaints against WWE.
The claims of Ashley Massaro saying she was sexually assaulted during a WWE visit to a U.S. military base in 2006 could cause trouble for the organization. Any claims such as this need to be taken seriously and it is expected that they will be, but Massaro’s claims that WWE convinced her to keep quiet about the assault adds a new layer of complications. The documents have been filed and it is going to be interesting to see where this one goes.
[Featured Image by WWE]