Ashley Massaro, a former WWE star who was a “Survivor” contestant, a magazine cover model, and most recently a Long Island disc jockey, has died. She was 39.
Massaro's death was "determined to be noncriminal," Suffolk County police said Friday morning in a statement. Police had responded to her Smithtown home Thursday morning on a report of a sick or injured person. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said.
Massaro won the 2005 WWE Raw diva search competition — a sort of "American Idol" for would-be wrestling starlets — by demonstrating she had just the right combination of charisma, athleticism and sex appeal to be part of the WWE.
She outlasted thousands of entrants and eight finalists, who competed in televised challenges for two months to earn the title, which came with a $250,000 one-year contract. She wrestled for WWE until 2008.
“We are saddened to learn of the tragic death of former WWE Superstar Ashley Massaro," WWE said in a statement. "WWE offers its condolences to Ashley’s family and friends.”
Long Island radio station 94.3 The Shark, where Massaro worked as a disc jockey, issued a statement on Facebook saying, "we are beyond sad to announce the passing of our punk rocker, family member, true sister, Ashley Massaro."
"Ashley joined the Shark family a year ago without ego, demanding to learn radio from the ground up … She helped everyone and never shied away from charity work, always making sure people were smiling."
A bio on the radio station's website says she was an on-air host and disc jockey on Saturdays, and that she has an 18-year-old daughter.
Massaro is probably best remembered in wrestling as the valet for tag team champions Paul London and Brian Kendrick and for getting a shot at the WWE women’s title at the 2007 WrestleMania, where she lost to Melina.
That same year Massaro competed on "Survivor: China" and was on the cover of Playboy. She was an East Northport resident at the time.
Massaro, a graduate of John Glenn High School in Elwood, was active on Twitter as recently as Wednesday, when she tweeted that she had just answered fan mail.
Mick Foley, a Long Islander who wrestled for several years in the WWE, tweeted: "This is just awful news — Ashley Massaro is gone. She was only 39. She lived in the same town as me … I loved seeing her around. She was always so nice … and now she’s gone."
With The Associated Press