Sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and rape allegations are hot-button topics these days, especially with a host of Hollywood elite, sports figures and high-ranking politicians being accused, losing their jobs or resigning because of it.
That list read’s like a Who’s Who of male celebrity and influence with more than 100 names from all forms of entertainment, sports or politics. From Charlie Rose to Matt Lauer to Kevin Spacey to Mario Batali to Jerry Richardson to Donovan McNabb to Al Franken. It all erupted after women came forward against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
Now WWE is dealing with it.
On Tuesday, WWE released one of its superstars, WWE cruiserweight champion Enzo Amore.
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On WWE’s website Tuesday, it read: “WWE has come to terms on the release of Eric Arndt [Enzo Amore].”
Philomena Sheahan accused Amore of raping her in Phoenix in October. She went public with it on Monday on Twitter.
WWE responded on Monday: “WWE has zero tolerance for matters involving sexual harassment or sexual assault. Until this matter is resolved, Eric Arndt has been suspended.”
Sheahan then went public further with TMZ on Tuesday, detailing the alleged incident.
An investigation by the Phoenix Police has been open since October.
According to website Fightful.com, Amore, 31, was aware of the allegation but did not disclose it to WWE.
After being released, Amore took to Twitter on Tuesday night and issued a statement from his attorney in response to the rape allegation from Sheahan.
“Over the last two days, Philomena Sheahan has made multiple public accusations against Eric Arndt [also known as Enzo Amore with the WWE], including allegations of sexual misconduct concerning an October 2017 incident in Phoenix. Mr. Arndt fully and unequivocally denies those accusations. He is cooperating with the authorities in this matter and looks forward to having it resolved in a timely manner. Neither Mr. Arndt nor his counsel will be making any further public comments on this matter.”
Since the New York Times and The New Yorker first published allegations of sexual harassment and rape against Weinstein by actresses Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd and dozens of others, the disgraced producer has been fired from his company. Others such as TV hosts Lauer and Rose lost their jobs.
Even though the investigation by the Phoenix police is not over, WWE had little choice but to act strongly on the matter, because Amore never alerted his employer of the allegation.
Innocent until proven guilty is still the mantra in our justice system, but the court of public opinion is powerful, too, especially with the rise of social media.
Also, WWE is a high-profile corporation, publicly traded on the stock market. That adds to the decision making process, when it comes to releases and suspensions.
This is the first known allegation against Amore, who has been with WWE since August 2012. He played football at Salisbury University in Salisbury, Maryland, where he earned a journalism degree. His family is in the DJ business, and he worked as a DJ and ticket salesman for the New York Jets.
Sheahan, @MissGucciWitch on Twitter, also implicated fashion designer Tyler Grosso and social media starlet Layla TooPoor Shapiro. They are Amore’s friends who were allegedly in the hotel room when the alleged incident occurred. Shapiro denied the allegation against her.
Gerweck.net posted this from Shapiro.
WWE, like any company, has standards for its employees to follow at all times or face the consequences. If Amore was doing inappropriate things with his friends and/or with her and then that was leaked, or if he was under investigation by police for misconduct and did not alert WWE what he was alleged of doing, you’re digging a hole for yourself right there, even if you’re innocent.