Ashley Massaro tragically passed away at the age of 39-year-old. She left behind a daughter named Alexa and tons of friends and fans all around the world.
In an affidavit from Ashley Massaro, she explained her horrifying experience of being raped while on a WWE trip to The Middle East to support the American military. You can read the entire affidavit here.
Her account of the events is very hard to read so please beware that this is extremely sensitive and mature content. However, it is what Massaro claimed to have been through.
In her statement, it was also said that Vince McMahon encouraged her not to follow through with any charges or tell anyone about it because they didn’t want one bad incident to spoil WWE’s relationship with the military and all the good they were doing.
I am a strong supporter of the US military and was always very enthusiastic when given the opportunity to do something to help the men and women fighting 5 overseas for our freedom. I am also very friendly and personable by nature so I developed a strong rapport with the many veterans and active service members that I encountered in my work with the WWE. As a result, I was one of four performers chosen to go on a two-week tour in support of our troops in Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. The other performers in attendance were Maria Kanellis, Ron Simmons, and Jimmy Hart. Gary Hart was also in attendance in a supervisory role.
While I was initially thrilled to have this opportunity, I began experiencing issues from the outset. At the beginning of the trip, I received harsh treatment from several men in Saudi Arabia, even while wearing a burqa. Maria Kanellis did not receive this type of treatment, so I suspected that it was related to my fair skin and light eyes. This made me very uncomfortable, but I brushed it off and was still looking forward to the tour.
Then, after we had arrived in Kuwait, I began to suffer from menstrual cramps. I had asked to rest in the Humvee, which was air-conditioned during a break, and the US Army soldiers insisted I was suffering from dehydration, notified Gary, and insisted on taking me to a nearby military base in Kuwait. I was told at the base that I needed an IV for dehydration. I protested but they insisted that I needed it and it was very common due to the hot weather.
When I arrived at the sickbay, an IV was placed in my arm almost immediately. After sitting with the IV in my arm for what felt like hours, Jimmy Hart came to check up on me and make sure I was ok. I told him I was fine but that they wouldn’t let me leave because they said I had to wait to see a doctor. Jimmy said he and the rest of the group were going to get lunch and left.
Another couple of hours went by and then a man appeared in the sickbay, dressed in an orange t-shirt and cargo shorts, and I had heard others comment that it was his birthday. He represented himself as a US Army doctor but I observed that all the other doctors at the facility had been wearing scrubs so I do not know whether this was true. He was with a woman who was dressed in full military fatigues. While I was still in the sickbay, he approached me and almost immediately administered an IV of an unknown substance in my other arm. Almost 6 immediately after, the alleged doctor and the woman in fatigues moved me into a room that did not appear to be a treatment room and placed me on a table. The woman guarded the door while the man proceeded to inject me with a drug that caused me to be unable to move my body or to scream.
The man then proceeded to violently rape and sodomize me. I was completely helpless to defend myself against this attack as the drug he injected rendered me temporarily paralyzed. Despite being unable to control my movements, I remained fully conscious for every second of the attack. I felt excruciating pain as a result of this man penetrating me by force and against my will, in a violent and aggressive manner, while I was completely defenseless. Each second that went by was excruciating and I have never felt more helpless or been more terrified in my entire life.
The experience was a living nightmare. I don’t know exactly how long this went on for but if felt like an eternity. The suffering I endured far surpassed all the injuries I had ever suffered in the ring put together; I was experiencing not only severe physical pain but severe emotional and psychological trauma. I have always considered myself to be a fighter and survivor so I can’t even find the words to describe what it felt like to be thrown on a table and stripped and then brutalized in the worst possible way that one human being is capable of brutalizing another – all while being unable to move or speak. In addition to the pain and terror, I felt almost dehumanized, and was extremely disturbed by the feeling that I was somehow given to this man as some type of sick birthday present, and it also made me sick that the female soldier willingly guarded the door for him while he raped me without blinking an eye.
Finally, Gary returned and was banging on the door. The man and woman yelled “one minute” and threw a dirty quilt on me as I was lying naked on the table, and when Gary entered the room he attempted to ask them what was going on but they immediately stormed out. At the time, my body was still limp and my speech impaired, so Gary wrapped me in the quilt and carried me out to the Humvee outside and took me back to my hotel room and then put me in my bed, as I needed to sleep.
Gary said to call when I woke up and that he, or one of the others we were traveling with, would come back to get me. 7 Three hours later, I woke up suddenly and jumped out of bed and had regained the ability to move and speak. My mind however could barely process the fact that I had just been drugged and then violently and brutally raped and sodomized repeatedly by a man who was celebrating his birthday and claimed to be a US Army doctor.
I also felt a sense of abandonment and wished someone had just stayed with me at the base as this likely would never have happened had I not been left there alone. Shortly after I woke, Maria appeared in my hotel room. She had heard from Gary that when he picked me up from the base, my body was limp and my speech was impaired. I explained to her that I was injected with an IV of an unknown substance, which left me unable to move or scream, and then was sexually assaulted.
She was very sympathetic and nice when I told her what had happened. She then relayed this information to Jimmy, Ron, and Gary. I then met the rest of the group because we had to head to the next location on the tour schedule. Obviously, given my mental and physical condition, and that I was in Kuwait and the group had to leave for the next destination, I was not in a position to stick around by myself and have a rape kit administered.
While en route to the next destination, I told Jimmy, Ron, Maria that I did not want them to tell anyone else was had happened. They agreed to respect my wishes. Finally, the tour was over and we were in Saudi Arabia and about to get on our flight home via London and my ticket was inexplicably missing. We couldn’t get another ticket and Gary could not get in touch with WWE’s travel coordinators to get me a ticket on their flight. Their solution was to leave me in Riyadh alone and put me up in a hotel by the airport. At this point, I had already given the burqa I had borrowed from the US Service members back to them and they had left; Riyadh was the location where I was harassed at the beginning of the trip when while wearing a burqa; and I had just been drugged and viciously raped.
I could not believe that anyone would expect me to stay there overnight alone given the circumstances. Nevertheless, Gary and rest of the group left and got on their flight. I could not believe what was happening, but there was no way I was staying 8 alone in a hotel without a burqa in Riyadh for the night so I called a friend who is a travel agent who arranged for me meet an airline employee who by some miracle got me onto a flight. Thankfully, I was able to return home, but I was still incredibly upset at the fact that I had been abandoned in a dangerous situation by my colleagues who knew what I had just endured, and thought it was inappropriate that even the WWE office, while not aware of the rape yet, would think it was a good plan for the rest of the group to leave me alone there overnight.
After I returned to the US, Dr. Rios set a meeting with me and questioned me about the incident. I have no idea how he knew anything had happened. I suspect that either something showed up in my drug test results, one of the other individuals on the tour reported it to him, or he could just sense from my demeanor that something was wrong.
Regardless, he told me that I needed to tell him what had happened. I finally agreed on the condition that he not disclose the information to anyone else and told him what had occurred. Dr. Rios then informed Vince, who informed Kevin Dunn, John Laurinaitis, and several other company executives or lawyers that I had never even met but were all present at a meeting that I was called into shortly after.
Vince led the meeting with these men and asked me to recount what happened in Kuwait. Then he said it was not in the best interest of the WWE for me to make the information about my attack public. I was still completely traumatized at that point and I just agreed. It was clear that there had already been a conversation and that they had reached a decision on their own prior to consulting with me as this was not a debate but rather Vince instructing me to keep this confidential.
Vince did at least apologize for what I went through, but then stressed that if I disclosed this incident it would ruin the relationship between the WWE and the US Military. He told me not to let one bad experience ruin the good work they were doing.
His lack of sensitivity in referring to my ordeal as “one bad experience” left me speechless. Vince went on to say that I would not be required to travel to the Middle East ever again and that the WWE would institute a new policy where any time a female WWE performer went to the Middle East, she would have a female WWE escort with her 24/7 to ensure this did not happen again. This did not make 9 me feel better about the situation.
It had already happened to me and the damage was already done. But again, I felt so defeated at that point that it seemed pointless to protest. I also admittedly was uncomfortable with the thought of all the wrestlers finding out so I asked Vince and those in the room to keep the incident quiet and they agreed.
It should also be noted that this affidavit is involved in the class-action lawsuit she was engaged in against WWE.
This is the same lawsuit that WWE says Massaro apologized for being a part of. This was made known after the company released an email correspondence from the 2005 Diva Search winner where she expressed regret for being involved in the lawsuit.