We have an update on the tragic death of Ashley Massaro.
As previously reported, the former WWE Diva and Survivor: China contestant was rushed to the hospital on Thursday morning after paramedics responded to a call for help.
Massaro was reportedly found unconscious at her home in New York after she failed to show up for her job at a local radio station.
Despite the best efforts of emergency medical technicians on the scene, Massaro did not survive.
She died at the age of 39.
At the time of this initial report, few details were available regarding exactly what transpired -- but The Blast has now published a statement from Shelly Martinez (who wrestled as Ariel), in which this close pal of Massaro's says the following:
“My best friend from the wrestling business died from suicide two days after responding to 300+ fan letters. She was the happiest I have seen her in years, so stoked that people still cared about her 11 years after her career was over.
"There are no signs. It comes without warning. If you are going through the worst shit in your life, just know that you are not alone. PLEASE seek help.”
Martinez is referring here to a recent Tweet from Massaro, where she showed off a pile of fan letters and wrote as a caption:
“Just answered a ton of fanmail so you guys should be receiving them soon!”
Prior to her suicid, Ashley Massaro had been part of a class action lawsuit against the WWE in which 60 wrestlers accused the company of failing to protect its employees from repeated head trauma and concussions that eventually led to long-term brain damage.
The lawsuit was dismissed last year after a judge deemed it “frivolous” and ruled that some of the claims occurred past the statute of limitations.
However, it was appealed shortly after and is still ongoing.
Therefore, Martinez may be a bit off base when she says that Massaro taking her life came out of nowhere.
It sounds as if she was actually in a lot of pain.
According to the affidavit, Massaro says she was “literally knocked out cold for five minutes,” and says afterward of how WWE responded:
“Not only did I not receive treatment, but I was told to brush it off.”
Massaro claimed to have “sustained multiple concussions" throughout her wrestling career, along with “hairline fracture in my spine and sustained numerous back injuries."
She was “ultimately diagnosed with herniated discs in C4 and C5 of my vertebrae."
In the affidavit, which Massaro wrote in 2017, she explained:
“Aside from my on-going physical injuries that were sustained in the ring, and my former battle with addiction, to this day I suffer from depression, for which I take medication; migraine headaches; and severe short-term memory loss.”
Massaro was the first winner of the WWE Diva Search before retiring from the company in 2008.
She left behind an 18-year old daughter named Alex who has shared a tribute and a couple of photos of herself and her mother in the wake of this tragedy.
“i wish i could have gotten more recent pictures," she wrote along with the following image, for example.
She later added:
“i love you mommy i want to wake up in your arms more than anything i want to give u a big hug please come back this cant be real.”
Just so tragic all around.
As authorities continue to investigate what happened, those who knew Ashley are in mourning.
“She is so much more than her image,” Leslie Nease, a fellow Survivor contestant and friend, told People Magazine.
“After we were both voted off we spent hours in deep conversation for several days. She had a very soft and kind side. I am so thankful I was able to see that and know her that way.”
Added Torrie Wilson, who wrestled alongside Ashley in the WWE:
“I can’t even begin to explain how devastated I am to hear about [Ashley Massaro] – legit one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known.
"When we fall into a dark place it can seem like it will never change but if you are there PLEASE keep hope & reach out for help.”
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).