One of the lesser reported scandals in ACW was really the starting point for most of the problems I had. It’s one thing to have to face the music after getting yourself in trouble but it’s another thing when all of a sudden controversy is swirling around you when you don’t know where it started. Such was the case with what we refer to as “the Nude Photo Scandal.”
Once upon a time we enforced rules and regulation for our wrestlers in the form of a moral’s clause. This was aimed to prevent them from engaging in activity that could bring embarrassment on the promotion. We didn’t want our girls posing or engaging in activities that might get the promotion in trouble with our distributors and television affiliates. We told them they could not be associated with adult magazines or movies, work for strip clubs or things of that nature.
Things were just fine for many years until a photo with several our wrestlers popped up and began circulating throughout the catfighting industry. It depicted Haven, Barbie Mayfield, Taylor Wilson, and Donna Dixxon topless in what appeared to be a photoshoot. It didn’t take long until one of our television connections altered us that they had received complaints from a women’s group about the girls. It seemed to snowball until two of our distributors cut ties with us and one of our television shows was moved back until the 2 AM time slot.
Needless to say I was really pissed and there was hell to pay. I called each of the girls in and read them the riot act. Eventually we decided to just ride it out and try to regroup.
Lo and behold another photo popped up, this one with Heaven and a former talent named Malaysia. Now this was the beginning of the Pandora’s box being ripped open. It was the very beginning of the problems that began with Heaven. We were upset with Heaven for taking a part in the photo and she was upset with us because she thought we may have been a part of disseminating them to use as leverage in upcoming contract negotiations. The thing is Heaven privately had shared the pictures with me, so she though I had something to do with them getting out. I thought they were some private photos that she took for us and didn’t press her to ask how and when they were taken and by whom. Well the shit hit the fan and Heaven got her back up and her claws came out. This was how all of the hostility began with her. No matter how much I swore that I had nothing to do with their release she would not listen to reason. Eventually things calmed down but the tension was still there underlying contract negotiations.
Then the next photo was released.
Well, at this point, everything went down hill. There was nothing I could say to Heaven. She didn’t believe anything that I said and I really couldn’t blame her. She did share the pictures and now they were out there floating around.
We called in our network administrator to go through my laptop as well as the desktop computers of ACW management. His audit confirmed that none of the photos were uploaded from any of our computers. There was a trail, however, from my laptop which showed that a number of my photos were copied from the laptop. Thus, everything was pointing directly as me and things just got worse and worse.
At this point, Taylor Wilson became involved in the matter, seizing upon the opportunity to boost her agenda. She began doing interviews stating that I was releasing these photos to blackmail performers and then began alleging that I was guilty of sexual harassing members of our roster, including her.
And then, conveniently, another photo appeared.
And of course it was a photo that included Taylor Wilson again. Taylor hit the roof and brazenly said that this was all the ammunition she needed to take me and the promotion down. I didn’t even bother to plead innocence because she obviously wasn’t going to listen. So now I had to fight a battle on two front against two angry women with nothing to lose. Calls began to arise for me to step down. I could not believe what was happening.
The next thing I knew, Dominique LeMonde and Malaysia showed up at the offices demanding to speak to me. They immediately went on the attack, furious that they had been included in what was obviously an attack on Heaven. I again plead innocent but they were not in a listening mood. Both threatened to quit the promotion just a few days before they were being sent on a tour of Europe. They threatened to involve attorneys but eventually I was able to calm them down enough to focus them about the European tour (I had to issue both of them a bonus). At this point I made an appointment with our lawyers.
And then, again, another photo appeared.
Well, this changed everything. Local television and radio station could not be more eager to put a now furious Dominique and Malaysia on the air. Heaven was already making her voice heard but now came the big mouth of Taylor Wilson. She claimed that in addition to being sexually harassed, she believed it was my intent to blackmail and called upon the state attorney general’s office to investigate and they did. We had to endure a month-long investigation in which our office were searched and our computer confiscated. We had to cancel the European tour and had to cancel our plans to send Donna Dixxon to Japan to compete in the annual D-Cup tournament… and that’s when we got a break.
Donna was very angry as she had been training for months for the tournament. As many of you may recall, Donna was [plagued with problems wrestling in ACW, enduring a long, long losing streak, but she was very successful outside of the promotion, while working on independent tours and our tours of Europe. She got really pissed off that she seemed to be getting caught up in the whirlwind. As she was storming off down the hall, she was heard muttering “that selfish bitch.”
Long story short, members of the investigative team questioned Dixxon and she reluctantly told them that Taylor Wilson was behind the whole thing. She was pissed off over finding the photos on my laptop and she made copies of them when I wasn’t around. She then kept “releasing” them at what were the worst times.
They considering bringing charges against Taylor but they felt that they couldn’t prove that she intentionally “lied” to the investigators. Unfortunately, for the promotion and for me, the fallout was devastating.
First, Dominique LeMonde, Donna Dixxon and Malaysia all quit the promotion. We had put a lot of money into grooming Dominique, so that was a big loss. We also lost the revenue from the cancelled tour and dates. Then, despite the investigation clearing me of any wrongdoing, things between Heaven and ACW never really got back on the right footing. Incredibly, Taylor continued to press on with allegations and an eventual lawsuit. So it was an absolute nightmare that set the promotion back about three years, including draining our financial resources during a down economy. It took us years to recover and I would suggest that some “legendary catfighters” never came to be.