Former WWE Superstar Ashley Massaro was found hanging in an apparent suicide, according to multiple sources who have spoke with TMZ Sports.
As we’ve noted, the 2005 Divas Search winner passed away last Thursday at the age of 39. She was found unconscious at her home in Smithtown, NY shortly after 5am ET after she failed to show up for work at a local radio station. She was taken to a local hospital by first responders and later pronounced dead. She would have turned 40 on May 26 and leaves behind one daughter. Local authorities have classified Massaro’s death as non-criminal and foul play was not suspected.
TMZ also noted that Massaro is being laid to rest in Suffolk County, NY.
The New York Post reports that Massaro’s lawyer told them that her brain may be donated to Dr. Bennet Omalu, who is a professor at the University of California at Davis known as “The Concussion Doctor.” Omalu researches CTE, a condition associated with multiple head injuries and concussions, and has previously released findings related to CTE in pro football players.
CTE can only be confirmed after death. Lawyer Konstantine Kryos, who has represented Massaro and other former WWE Superstars in lawsuits against the company, told The Post that he’s asked Massaro’s mother and daughter about donating her brain.
“They were a little upset about it,” Kryos said, adding that there’s a little time to make the decision. He claimed, “It was Ashley’s wishes to donate her brain.”
CM Punk called into the WMGM radio show in Atlantic City, NJ on Friday and said he heard that Massaro had taken her life. This was before the manner of death has been publicly disclosed, but there was already speculation due to social media comments from several people close to Massaro, including Michelle McCool. Punk begged listeners to get help if they are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts, as Massaro had.
“Tremendously sad way to go,” Punk said. He continued, “thoughts obviously go out to her family, especially her daughter. It’s May. It’s Mental Health Month … if you’re depressed and things aren’t going your way, there’s no reason to feel alone. Just reach out to somebody. Text a friend. Call somebody. There’s hotlines. There’s ways you can get help.”
As noted, WWE honored Massaro with a tribute graphic before Sunday’s WWE Money In the Bank pay-per-view hit the air. They also issued a statement on her passing last week, saying, “We are saddened to learn of the tragic death of former WWE Superstar Ashley Massaro. 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.”