Former WWE star Ashley Massaro (R) died on Thursday morning. She was 39. (Getty
Former WWE star Ashley Massaro died on Thursday, the WWE confirmed. She was 39.
Massaro, according to The Blast, was transported from her home in Long Island, New York, to a hospital around 5:30 a.m. on Thursday morning where she died. The cause of death is not yet known, though it has been classified as “non-criminal,” according to TMZ.
She tweeted Wednesday afternoon that she had just answered “a ton of fan mail”.
“We are saddened to learn of the tragic death of former WWE Superstar Ashley Massaro,” the WWE said in a statement. “She performed in WWE from 2005-2008 and was beloved by her fellow Superstars and fans around the world. WWE offers its condolences to Ashley’s family and friends.”
Massaro’s career took off after she won the “2005 Raw Diva Search,” and she won the WWE Women’s Championship against Melina at Wrestlemania 23 in 2007. She also briefly competed on “Survivor: China” in 2007, though was voted off in the second episode.
Massaro was part of a lawsuit filed by 60 former professional wrestlers against the WWE claiming that the company failed to protect them from repeated head trauma, which resulted in long-term brain damage, according to NBC News. That lawsuit was dismissed last year after a judge determined that several claims were either frivolous or that the statute of limitations had expired, per the report.
Massaro also alleged in the lawsuit that she was sexually assaulted on a WWE trip to an American military base in Kuwait in 2006. She said she was examined by a company doctor after returning from the trip, who then reported the incident to WWE executives. Those executives, she said, later met with her “to apologize for their negligence, but [they] persuaded her that it would be best not to report it to appropriate authorities,” according to the Boston Globe.