Wrestling stars from several federations, including the WWE, are being accused of sexual misconduct in online forums. The movement, loosely organized under the hashtag #SpeakingOut, has already led to one wrestler having his contract terminated.
The WWE announced the release of wrestler Jack Gallagher (real name Oliver Claffey) shortly before this week’s Friday Night SmackDown aired on Fox. No reason was given, but Gallagher was the subject of an earlier online post that accused him of sexual assault.
The WWE issued a statement but did not directly address whether Gallagher was let go because of the misconduct allegations:
“Individuals are responsible for their own personal actions. WWE has zero tolerance for matters involving domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault. Upon arrest for such misconduct, a WWE talent will be immediately suspended. Upon conviction for such misconduct, a WWE talent will be immediately terminated. WWE’s ability to fine, suspend or terminate a WWE talent will not be, however, limited or compromised in any manner in the event incontrovertible evidence of such illegal misconduct is presented to WWE.”
It added, “We take any allegation of this nature very seriously and are looking into the matter.”
As of Sunday, Gallagher’s profile was deleted from WWE.com.
Friday’s SmackDown also featured the debut of Matt Riddle, who also faced assault allegations, which he has denied. His attorney has issued a letter on his behalf (see below). RIddle was featured on Friday’s Fox WWE Friday Night SmackDown in a match that he won, but the show was pre-taped before the allegations surfaced.
“The allegations by this independent female performer are completely false and another attempt to harass and humiliate Mr. and Mrs. Riddle and to try to tarnish their reputation in the community. We have been aware for the last two years of this performer stalking the Riddle family. In 2019, our firm had drafted a pleading against this performer to seek an injunction for cyberstalking in the Circuit Court for Orange County, Florida.”
Jordan Devlin, who was also accused of sexual abuse on Thursday in a series of since deleted tweets, tweeted his own statement:
“I didn’t even want to address the hurtful allegation made against me, but for the sake of my followers and friends on this platform that may for whatever reason be unsure, I’m going to address this once. The recent allegation made against me is completely and utterly false and I deny it entirely. This is a case of a malicious personal agenda being executed against me on the back of a very brave telling of true experiences by other women. I completely denounce it. This is all I will say on the matter, and I am now working with a legal team to help decide how to proceed from here.”
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