British professional wrestler Saraya-Jade Bevis is at the centre of a huge controversy, following the unauthorised release of intimate photographs and a private video involving her and two men. Better known as WWE Diva Paige, the two-time champion confirmed on Twitter that the photos being shared on the internet were indeed hers.
Paige, who also happens to be the youngest ever female wrestler to win the Divas Championship, has received supportive comments from fans who were disgusted by this invasion of privacy. Many called for the WWE to stand by her through this ordeal.
Freelance journalist and feminist Daniel Falconer also weighed in with a message of support.
He also insisted that there was nothing wrong with Paige taking private pictures and criticised those who judged her for doing so. He called for all emphasis to be placed on the fact that those images were stolen.
Falconer also had some pithy responses for fans who referenced the fact that the WWE championship belt featured in the leaked photos.
However, others disagreed and argued that the WWE had good grounds to fire Paige because of this leak, referencing previous run-ins she has had with the company.
The comment above refers to Seth Rollins, another WWE superstar who was embroiled in a similar scandal when his ex-fiancee allegedly leaked nude pictures of him and another WWE wrestler Zahra Schreiber after reportedly discovering they were having an affair. Rollins was not fired when this scandal happened.
However, the pre-existing wellness violations mentioned remain a major concern. These occurred in August and October 2016. Paige and then boyfriend Jose Rodriguez, who wrestles under the name Alberto Del Rio, were each suspended for 30 days for failing to complete drugs tests within the stipulated time period – a deadline they missed because they were on holiday.
After this, Paige was suspended for 60 days. Though the reason for the second suspension was not revealed by the WWE, the wellness policy mainly covers healthcare standards and drugs testing, so it could be assumed that she and the company had a dispute concerning these issues.
Based on the perception of an already rocky relationship with the WWE, it is feared that this leak could be the final nail in the coffin that results in the termination of her contract. However, Paige’s mother has tweeted in solidarity with her daughter, saying she and her husband – both professional wrestlers – stand by her “100%”. Julia Hamer-Bevis, who also goes by the names Sweet Saraya and Saraya Knight stressed that Paige was not to blame for the incident.
The WWE is yet to comment on the matter, and it remains to be seen whether this leak will affect Paige’s career. Prior to this current controversy, Paige herself has previously expressed a keenness to remain at the WWE, in spite of rumours that she would be leaving the company. Amidst several issues, including previous suspensions and an injury, but took to her Instagram page to clear up suggestions that she would not return to the WWE.
Paige continues to receive love and support from many fans who hope to see her remain at the WWE. It would be unfortunate if an attack on her privacy cost her her job, but until her employer makes a statement her future with the company might hang in the balance.
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