Last month due to public outcry WWE removed Moolah’s name from WrestleMania’s first Women’s Battle Royal.
Now that the event has passed, several women are defending Moolah and rebuking allegations made against her.
Moolah remains a controversial figure in the wrestling world. Allegations from former students of Moolah’s include sexual exploitation and shady business practices that included skimming large chunks of her female trainees pay.
The Matt Rivera Show shared these interviews from several wrestlers including Leilani Kai, Joyce Grable, and Moolah’s own daughter, who came to Moolah’s defense:
- Leilani Kai, former WWE Women’s Champion & lived at Camp Moolah for 20 years: “She had never once drugged any of us” Kai stated on a recent episode of Madusa‘s Full Throttle Podcast. “She was a champion, she was a booker, and she was a great legend. And she deserves to be honored for enternity…”
- Former NWA Women’s Champion, Susan “Tex” Green: “How much (money) did Moolah take from you?” Sherrod asks. “30%” replies Green. “Which… I signed a contract. I didn’t have a problem with that… she was putting me in the ring, in front of the people, in front of the writers that put my face & pictures out in magazines. So I took that all in stride.” As for allegations of Moolah pimping girls? “… nobody ever came to my room late at night”.
- “Golden Girl” Lisa Darnell, the youngest trainee ever at “Camp Moolah” at age 16: “She never did anything that was inappropriate at all… And me being the youngest person there, like they said, she was pimping the girls out? That’s just ridiculous… I would have been the one she pimped out. I was a young, fresh girl, you know?”
- Moolah’s daughter, Mary Ellison, who also trained at “Camp Moolah”: “I don’t know who made up the rumors, but it’s a lie… About Sweet Georgia Brown, I don’t know who brought that up, but she did go with Buddy Lee (Moolah’s Ex Husband) when they split… some of the girls went with him, & some of them stayed with my mother. And the ones that went with him, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were drugs & prostitution involved. Which would be back on him, not on my mother.”
- Brittany Brown, Multi Time Champion: “If anything like that ever did happen to me, I would have flown back home to Boston faster than you could even write her name down… and I’m sure most everybody else that I knew there would’ve, too… I saw the contracts. It spelled out word for word, by the penny, what percentage she took…. 40 years later or 30 years later, for people to say, “Oh, my God! I can’t believe she took 30% of my pay. I should’ve been getting that.” Well, no. You signed the contract. You wanted to be on TV so bad, that 30% was okay with you… Was it high? I don’t know, but if you thought it was, you shouldn’t have signed it.”
- Little wrestler, Diamond Lil on Moolah pimping out wrestlers: “That’s a lie, it never happened. Whoever’s saying that is crazy.”
- Native American wrestler, and former Tag Team partner of Luna Vachon, Winona Littleheart:“No way. She never pimped me out. And as far as I know, none of the other girls that I know.
- Former WWF Superstar, Peggy Lee Leather: “No, she was not a pimp. She was my booker. She booked me for a certain percentage. And all this about being a pimp, it just makes me just almost sick inside. Because that’s saying that I was pimped out by The Fabulous Moolah. She was nothing but a business woman. A shrewd one. On allegations by the late Luna Vachon that Moolah forced her to take inappropriate pictures for a local doctor while she was underage: “I think it was Dr. Goldstein, and he liked women’s wrestling, and he liked to take photos of them… Moolah would just, you know, approach the girl & just ask them would they like to go out there… I know several of them that went out there… not one of them told me that he did anything derogatory in any way or mentioned anything about sex… When Luna got there, she’d already had two children at that time & she was going through a divorce with her husband… She was in her 20’s when she got to Moolah’s, she wasn’t 16.”
- Multi Time Champion, Joyce Grable: “As far as I was concerned, she never sent me nobody. And hey, I had a good body, back then. I was kind of pretty, long blonde hair. Especially when I went to Puerto Rico. Mexico. If she was gonna pimp somebody out, I would’ve been #1 on the list”
Watch the full video below:
“The Fabulous Moolah was a real-life heel. A lot of women paid to train at her school and then went out on the road. They risked life and limb in their matches and she repaid them with the worst kinds of abuses. She skimmed their money, she ignored women who were badly hurt, she pimped women out to creepy men and on and on. She was not a mother figure. She was more like Kali, the Indian Goddess of Destruction. I met her in my early 20s and I had never met such a monstrous person.”
Her account is corroborated by another trainee, Debbie Johnson, who told the website LadySports in 2008 that Moolah “took 30 [percent] of everything we all made before anything else came out of our money. Then she took out our travel expenses, then food, then rent … I worked my ass off for her for almost two years before I ever had money coming to me.” Both Mjoseth and Johnson used the same word to describe Moolah: “Evil.””
And The family of Susie Mae McCoy, a black wrestler who went by the name Sweet Georgia Brown and wrestled for Moolah from 1957 to 1972, shared her story in 2006. McCoy’s daughter Barbara said her mother once admitted to her she had been “raped, given drugs and made an addict” during her career. This, the family determined, was a means of controlling McCoy and keeping her dependent on the promoters.
In a 2002 interview, Luna Vachon claimed that when she was sixteen years old and training at Ellison’s camp, Ellison sent her out of state to be photographed by an older man. Although she remained clothed during the photo shoot, Vachon stated she felt taken advantage of by Ellison and the older man. Vachon also stated that her aunt, Vivian Vachon, witnessed Ellison abusing alcohol and having sex with her female trainees. Sandy Parker, a lesbian former pupil of Ellison’s, also claims that Ellison forbade her from going to any gay bars and tried to press her to date men. Parker says this enranged her, because “(Moolah) was two faced because she had her own little dalliances that we all knew about.”
To read more about Moolah’s scandalous history, go here.
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