On Saturday, former Impact Wrestling star Joey Ryan reactivated his social media accounts and posted a nearly hour-long video where he discussed the sexual assault allegations he faced as part of the #SpeakingOut movement.
In the video, which can be viewed in its entirety on YouTube here, Ryan started by saying he shared it for the people who still support him despite the accusations he dealt with last month. He explained that he initially did not comment on the matter because his therapist asked him to go on a social media hiatus. He added that his lawyer gave him similar advice, telling the wrestler not to comment until he has reviewed all the claims.
“I know that therapy is about progress and not perfection, but I do want to make one thing perfectly clear, I have never had sex with a woman without her consent,” Ryan stressed at the 1:10 mark of the clip.
“I have never acted criminally towards a woman and I have never acted criminally with sex. And, unlike these allegations, I have actual evidence that can show you that. I also want it clear that I have always been able to separate business from my personal life.”
Last one: Here’s Joey Ryan claiming, as has been described elsewhere, that his Impact contract had a clause saying he couldn’t be fired for anything that happened before he signed.
He didn't say if it’s standard or something he negotiated, which seems to suggest the latter. pic.twitter.com/wirS8gdpul
— David Bixenspan (@davidbix) July 19, 2020
A separate report from Pro Wrestling Sheet broke down each of the points Ryan discussed in his video. The outlet noted that the grappler showed screenshots of several conversations with his accusers, which he believes prove that any sexual activities that took place between them were consensual. Also pointed out were the times where Ryan claimed to have backed off after realizing that the women he had interacted with were not interested in being sexually intimate with him.
Ryan did, however, mention an incident where he had admittedly misread the signals from a female wrestler, thinking she “wanted to hook up” when she actually wanted to maintain a platonic friendship with him. He then apologized for acting in such a way toward the woman.
In addition to going through each of the accusations made against him, Ryan also touched on his release from Impact, claiming that company officials did not get in touch with him after they announced an investigation into the matter. He alleged that the promotion’s decision to fire him was an example of trying to gain “clout” by posting a public statement about his release. Further, he added that his contract supposedly prevented him from being sacked for incidents that took place before he signed.
Ryan was not the only Impact talent to face scrutiny in June after multiple individuals — mostly female wrestlers and fans — came forward on social media and accused a number of people in the wrestling business of sexual misconduct. The company also released Dave Crist and Michael Elgin over these allegations, with the latter initially being suspended before he was removed from all future events.