Last month, Vince McMahon resigned from his position at TKO Group after a lawsuit from former WWE employee Janel Grant accused him of sex trafficking, sexual assault, and more. WWE and John Laurinaitis are also named as defendants in the lawsuit.
Now, a new report by Tim Marchmann with VICE News has revealed additional details regarding late WWE talent Ashley Massaro, who tragically passed away after committing suicide in May 2019.
Edward Brennan, the lawyer for Laurinaitis has responded to the claims made by the late Massaro in a 2019 affidavit, alleging that she was sexually assaulted by an individual within the U.S. military during a 2006 goodwill tour by WWE in Kuwait and that WWE covered up the alleged rape.
WWE later stated at the time that neither Vince McMahon nor management were ever informed by Massaro about the alleged sexual assault.
According to Brennan, Laurinaitis was aware of Massaro’s allegations at the time, along with “most upper-level management.” This contradicts WWE’s official statement.
Brennan further said, “Any allegations that Mr. Laurinaitus helped to cover up an alleged rape allegation is an outright lie…Johnny, like most upper level management at sometime became aware of the allegations and ensured all proper WWE protocols were followed, including privacy for the alleged victim. We object to the use of the term cover up as no such plan or plot ever took place to hide or assist in the alleged rape.”
In her sworn affidavit released in 2019 after her passing, Massaro confessed that she was injected with a paralyzing agent by someone claiming to be a U.S. Army doctor during WWE’s tour of Kuwait in 2006.
Massaro also claimed that top WWE executives told her not to talk about the incident and agreed not to speak on it themselves to protect the company’s standing with the military.
VICE News is reporting that the Naval Criminal Intelligence Service opened an investigation into Massaro’s allegations in June 2019. The case was reportedly closed in January 2020. Further information could not be released, as it would need to be obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
A spokesperson for WWE’s parent company TKO reportedly declined to comment. McMahon’s lawyer also did not respond to requests for comments.