She was 39.
Former WWE wrestler Ashley Massaro died suddenly at age 39, WWE announced. She had been found at her home on Long Island Thursday morning and officials were treating her death as “non-criminal,” TMZ reported.
News site The Blast reported that Massaro was discovered at her home in Smithtown, New York, after failing to show up for work at a local radio station. A 911 call was placed at 5:23 a.m. and EMTs performed CPR on the way to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. (The Blast’s report also included a statement from Massaro’s friend Shelly Martinez saying the death was a suspected suicide. That statement was from a Facebook profile that did not belong to Martinez, she said on her verified Twitter account. The cause of death is unclear at this time.)
Massaro had been part of a class-action lawsuit against WWE, accusing the company of failing to protect its performers. She said in a 2017 affidavit that she had suffered multiple concussions during her brief time with the company, as well as serious neck and back injuries. Massaro also claimed in a 2016 court filing that she was sexually assaulted while on a WWE trip to Kuwait.
Massaro was the winner of WWE’s 2005 “Diva Search” and remained with the company until she requested her release in July 2008. Her career highlights include a Women’s Championship match against Melina at WrestleMania 23 and another appearance at WrestleMania 24. She also served as a valet for Paul London and Brian Kendrick during that tag team championship run. Outside of wrestling, she appeared on Survivor: China, before being voted off in the second episode.
(Correction: This story previously included the erroneous report about the cause of Massaro’s death.)