Thursday, October 28, 2021

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Ashleygate: Not So Clear Cut

After reading Mike Johnson’s “Morning Thoughts” on PWInsider.com, it seems that the case of mistaken identity that we reported yesterday, is not so clear cut. In fact, the news making rounds that there is another Ashley Massaro based out of Las Vegas could very well be false. I, for one, had my doubts that there was in fact another person with the same name, that looks similar to Ashley – I mean seriously, what are the odds? The lesson I’ve learned between then and now, is not to believe everything you read on the Internet. You’re all probably rolling your eyes at me and thinking “Go figure!”

At the time I wrote yesterday’s post on the doppleganger, I felt as though the issue had been cleared up, if you read that post now, my tone was conclusive as I felt I was wrapping up on writing about the story. Since then, things have been somewhat hazy: Is there really another Ashley or has the person in question been WWE’s Ashley all along? It seems the latter is proving true. In fact, the writer of the article for Rolling Stone, Michelle Grigoriadis told Mike Johnson over the weekend that there was never a question that the article was referring to WWE’s Ashley and they are not mistaken: “Obviously, I stand by my story. Massaro is named in an FBI search warrant that was executed on Michelle Braun’s property in October, 2007. I have no knowledge of another woman by the same name.”

It should be noted, that the FBI has been investigating this woman, Michelle “Nici” Braun since 2004 and it was only last year, after compiling enough evidence they raided her home. Despite WWE claiming Ashley had only posed in Playboy for the first time in April 2007, we all know that girl was posing nude since 2003 under the name “Mackenzie Ryan.” So in fact, Ashley’s Playboy past would corroborate her connection to “Nici.” In the article, the writer connects Ashley having worked with the escort service, Bella Models in 2004 – a whole year before we all knew of her.

Looking back to the self-proclaimed Dirty Diva’s MySpace blog on Saturday, I think one could argue that Ashley is trying to cover up her shameful past to protect her more credible career as a WWE Diva here in the present day. I don’t want to make insinuations, but I think that could be one stream of thought. It seems that there is more to this story, after all. As a journalism major, I certainly think (and hope) that a publication of the stature of Rolling Stone will have done all the possible research before pulling the trigger on this article. After all, the raid happened in October 2007 and it is nearly six months later, the magazine has published this article.

Meanwhile, one of the more interesting components to this story is something that has yet to come to fruition. As of writing, World Wrestling Entertainment has yet to respond to the claims, nor are there any “insider” reports from the wrestling media. I’m truly interested to see if they respond at all and if Ashley will appear on RAW tonight. If she doesn’t, that will be very telling indeed. What do you think of this new information?

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