John Laurinitis’ Lawyer Says WWE Knew About Ashley Massaro Allegations

The following article is about allegations Ashley Massaro made against Vince McMahon, John Laurinitis, and WWE. It contains subject matter about sexual assault and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Former WWE star Ashley Massaro sadly took her life in 2019. Following her passing, a legal filing was released detailing previous allegations she had made. Massaro alleged that she was drugged and raped by a soldier while on a WWE visit in 2006 to a military base in Kuwait. Massaro claims she relayed to Vince McMahon, John Laurinitis, and other WWE executives what had happened, but was told to keep it quiet so as not to create a rift between WWE and the military.

In a statement to VICE News, Laurinitis’ lawyer objected to the term “cover-up” in regard to how Massaro’s allegation was handled internally by WWE. However, he did concede that his client knew about Massaro’s allegations, as did “most upper-level management.” This is in contrast to WWE’s official statement following the allegations becoming public.

“Any allegations that Mr. Laurinaitus helped to cover up an alleged rape allegation is an outright lie,” said Laurinaitis’ lawyer, Edward Brennan. “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.”  

VICE News also confirms that the Naval Criminal Intelligence Service formally opened an investigation into Massaro’s allegations in June 2019. That investigation was closed it in 2020, and the results are not immediately available as they require a Freedom of Information request.

TKO Group Holdings and a lawyer said to be representing Vince McMahon declined to issue a comment to VICE News on their report.