During the Mae Young Classic, WWE introduced Jessika Carr as the first-ever female referee in their history. Some of you might remember Carr as Kennadi Brink from ROH and the independents. Later, Lita said that Carr was the first female referee since the 80’s without mentioning the name of the first one.
— WWE (@WWE) August 25, 2017
Rita Chatterton was the first female referee in the 1980’s but WWE has decided to erase her from the history books because there was no mention of her name during the Mae Young Classic.
In the early 90’s, Chatterton went on Geraldo Rivera’s “Now It Can Be Told” TV show and claimed that Vince McMahon sexually assaulted her. The show aired on April 3, 1992, when the company was dealing with the steroid and ring boy scandal. Vince and Linda McMahon fired back and filed a lawsuit against her and media outlets that reported on the story claiming that her claims (Vince denied any wrongdoing) caused “severe emotional distress.”
The 1993 lawsuit, filed by Jerry McDevitt on behalf of the McMahons, was filed in the district court in Connecticut and listed Chatterton, Geraldo Rivera, the Tribune Entertainment Co. and The Investigative News Group. The suit asked for $50,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages and reimbursement for legal fees. David Schultz, accused of conspiring with Chatterton, was also listed in the suit.
The story resurfaced in 2010 when Linda McMahon threw her hat as a Republican Senate nominee in Connecticut. The Talking Points Memo website has quotes from McDevitt and more details on the lawsuit filed by the McMahons. The suit claimed that Chatterton’s counsel demanded $5 million in exchange for her agreeing to “waive her First Amendment right to speak out.”
McDevitt said that Chatterton (fired in 1986) never filed a lawsuit or police report and it never went to trial. A WWE spokesperson told TPM that Chatterton’s accusations were a “$5 million shakedown.” There have been different versions of the story. Many people that have known McMahon over the years (including friends and enemies) have said backed McMahon and questioned Chatterton’s claims.
Last week, we noted that yet another person is being erased from their history on the WWE Network. Click here to read more on that story.
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