Ashley Massaro’s cause of death has been revealed after the former WWE star died at the age of 39 last week.
Multiple outlets are reporting that Massaro, who was a fan favourite in the 2000s, committed suicide and was found in her home.
Her death was earlier classified as “non-criminal” by authorities.
Authorities were reportedly alerted when Massaro failed to show up for a shift at a local radio station where she worked.
A friend of Massaro expressed her disbelief on social media.
“She was the happiest I have seen her in years, so stoked that people still cared about her 11 years after her career was over,” she wrote.
“There are no signs. It comes without warning. If you are going through the worst sh*t in your life, just know that you are not alone. PLEASE seek help.”
Massaro is survived by her 19-year-old daughter, Alexa.
"I wish I could have gotten more recent pictures," her daughter said in a tribute she posted to her late mother on Instagram.
"I love you Mommy I want to wake up in your arms more than anything I want to give u a big hug please come back this can't be real."
Massaro competed on "Survivor: China" in 2007 and was voted off in the season's second episode. Two years earlier, she won the WWE's "Raw Diva Search”.
Massaro’s lawyer has revealed how the wrestler wanted to donate her brain for research after suffering from depression after her WWE career ended.
Massaro previously blamed ongoing bouts of depression and injuries on “routine repetitive blows” she endured while wrestling.
She was part of a class action lawsuit against the WWE, which saw 60 wrestlers accuse the company of failing to protect them from head trauma and concussions.
However the suit was dismissed in 2018, with a judge deeming the case “frivolous” because some claims occurred past the statute of limitations.
During the suit, Massaro alleged she was never informed of the “long-term risks associated with concussions or repeated head trauma and I had never even heard the terms of TBI or CTE mentioned.”
She revealed how she’d been “literally knocked out cold for five minutes,” but “not only did I not receive treatment, but I was told to brush it off.”
“Aside from my on-going physical injuries that were sustained in the ring, and my former battle with addiction, to this day I suffer from depression, for which I take medication; migraine headaches; and severe short-term memory loss,” she said, as outlined in an affidavit.
“I attribute these issues to my work-related injuries sustained while working for the WWE, and specifically to the routine repetitive blows to the head, I received in the ring over the course of my career which were not properly diagnosed or treated.”
Massaro said WWE failed its obligations, and “as a result, it has caused me severe and ongoing pain and suffering, emotional distress and financial hardship.”
After her death, the WWE said: “We are saddened to learn of the tragic death of former WWE Superstar Ashley Massaro. She performed in WWE from 2005-2008 and was beloved by her fellow Superstars and fans around the world.”
“WWE offers its condolences to Ashley’s family and friends.”
Australian readers seeking support and information about depression can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 (for young people aged 5 to 25).