Former WWE star Ashley Massaro has died at the age of 39 after being taken to hospital from her home in Long Island. The wrestler and model, who competed in WWE between 2005 and 2008, died of “non-criminal causes”, Suffolk County Police say.
WWE says it’s “saddened to learn of the tragic death of former Superstar Ashley Massaro” and offers its condolences to her family. Ashley joined the WWE in 2005 after winning its Raw Diva Search, reports BBC.
That earned her a $250,000 (£195,000) one-year contract. Two years later she went on to compete in the most high-profile match of her career, against Melina at Wrestlemania 23 for the WWE Women’s Championship.
She fought at Wrestlemania again the following year. Wrestlers old and new paid tribute to Ashley and shared memories of their time with her in WWE.
Ashley, who has an 18-year-old daughter, also appeared on the cover of Playboy magazine during her career – as well as on the reality TV series Survivor.
She passed away ten days before her 40th birthday. Her cause of death is currently not known.
Massaro grew up in Babylon, New York, where her brother and father competed in amateur wrestling.She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication with a minor in Business from the State University of New York at Albany.
Massaro had one daughter, Alexa, who was born on July 23, 2000. When her daughter became sick in mid-2008, Massaro asked for an early release from WWE to care for her.