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Rita Chatterton Says Pat Patterson Wanted Wrestlers To Injure Her

Rita Chatterton is the first female referee that was in the WWF. She had a stint with the company in the 1980s and went by the name Rita Marie.

Chatterton was briefly with the company and exited after allegations of Vince McMahon sexually assaulting her in 1986. In 1992 she came forward publicly with that accusation. She spoke recently in her first interview since 1992 in regards to her first experience as a WWF official and it involved Pat Patterson.

She spoke on the Cheap Heat Production Podcast on July 14 and spoke on how Patterson attempted to stop her from officiating her first match until she threatened to take legal action.

“Pat Patterson, Jay Strongbow, and Richard Herring come walking over to me, and Pat Patterson’s got a fistful of money, and he says, ‘Here, take this.’ I looked at him, ‘I said, ‘What’s that?’ He says, ‘You’re getting paid for tonight, but you’re not refereeing anything.’ I looked at him and said, ‘Yes, I am. Look, if I don’t referee tonight, I will sue you personally, and I will sue you, and I will sue you,’ and I pointed to the other two. I said, ‘and then I will sue the WWF. Because I’m a good referee, I’ve worked hard for it, and yes, I am working.’

“Pat Patterson, Jay Strongbow, and Richard Herring come walking over to me, and Pat Patterson’s got a fistful of money, and he says, ‘Here, take this.’ I looked at him, ‘I said, ‘What’s that?’ He says, ‘You’re getting paid for tonight, but you’re not refereeing anything.’ I looked at him and said, ‘Yes, I am. Look, if I don’t referee tonight, I will sue you personally, and I will sue you, and I will sue you,’ and I pointed to the other two. I said, ‘and then I will sue the WWF. Because I’m a good referee, I’ve worked hard for it, and yes, I am working.’

“They storm away,” she continued. “Rich Herring looks at me and smiles because he knows me. He just assigned me. So I ended up doing — my very first match was a women’s tag team match. I found out a few months later that Pat Patterson told the women to break my legs and make sure I never wanted to get in the ring again. Luckily, being women, instead of doing anything to hurt me, they helped me, and that’s how I got started. But, it was crazy. It was a crazy world. Things were so much different back then. But luckily, the women knew that you had to work 10 times as hard for a quarter of the recognition that the men got at the time. So instead of doing anything that hurt me, they actually helped me. So it was my first experience.” (Transcription – Fightful)

The full interview can be listened to below.

In June, after the recent allegations facing McMahon, an article was released in the New York Magazine where Chatterton was interviewed. In the article, it explains the allegations and happenings on what happened to her in 1986 that she brought forth in 1992. Former enhancement talent, Leonard Inzitari, better known as Mario Mancini, came forward to help corroborate her story.

Much as she stated in 1992, Chatterton spoke about being under the belief that her position in WWF was to be a full-time contract worth half a million dollars, which was promised to her by McMahon. As a result, she left a job at Frito-Lay in expectation of her future position and compensation. She was told not to get involved with the wrestlers by McMahon himself.

“I talked to McMahon,” Chatterton recalls, “and he said I had a half-million-dollar contract coming my way anyway … I was pretty confident it would happen. So I left Frito-Lay.”

“That was one of those jobs with a 401(k),” Inzitari added. “You could retire after putting in your years at Frito-Lay. But she dumped it all because Vince said she’d be on the cover of Time.”

Chatterton chose to not recount the details of what took place in July 1986 incident for this interview, however, in 1992 she gave those details on the Geraldo Rivera talk show.

I was forced into oral sex with Vince McMahon. When I couldn’t complete his desires, he got really angry, started ripping off my jeans, pulled me on top of him, and told me again that, if I wanted a half-a-million-dollar-a-year contract, that I had to satisfy him. He could make me or break me, and if I didn’t satisfy him, I was black-balled, that was it, I was done.

Continuing to speak to the New York Magazine –“One of the things that sticks with me, and always will,” Chatterton told New York Magazine’s Abraham Riesman, “was, after he got done doing his business, he looked at me and said, ‘Remember when I told you not to mess with any of the wrestlers? Well, you just did.’”

Regarding the current allegations going on with McMahon, Chatterton added –

“He’s not gonna pay for what he did to me,” she says. “Now this girl’s come forward, and I’m sure others will come forward. Because we’re not the only two. There’s not a doubt in my mind about that.

“As far as wrestling goes, I guess I’m the first in a lot of things,” she added. “As far as I know, I’m the first to come out with the whole issue of what a scumbag he is.”

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, there are many resources available to help. You can contact RAINN’s National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).


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