Joey Ryan has responded to multiple allegations of sexual abuse.
Over the past few days IMPACT wrestler Joey Ryan has been accused of sexual abuse by multiple women.
A woman named Corinne wrote, “Hey y’all. One time I was picking up Joey Ryan from the airport and he like groped my thigh and chest WHILE I WAS DRIVING. Tried to get me to go to his hotel room; and then kissed me to convince me to do so. I told the promoter of the show (who was also the man responsible for a good amount of my training because I was attending his school at the time). I was doing the airport pickup for about this and he said he was so sorry that he felt terrible that he put me in danger like that. He promised me he would never book Joey Ryan again. LO AND BEHOLD A YEAR AND A HALF LATER, he books Joey Ryan. I can’t believe I trusted him.”
Two others also came forward.
Charlie wrote, "I’m going to start this by saying that I’m ashamed. Ashamed that I brushed it off as ‘banter’ and ‘it’s just the lads’ – when what happened to me was not acceptable. The wrestler repeatedly propositioned me for sex after a wrestling show. Myself and the majority of the roster shared a few drinks after a show (an important point, this was my second ever show as an MC, – he took ADVANTAGE). The wrestler had come to the UK and up until this point in the night, despite being the only woman in a large group of 6ft+ men, I had felt safe. The majority of the wrestlers are my friends, my colleagues and my partner.
The wrestler sat beside me and proceeded to touch my hands and my arms, invade my personal space and desperately tried to get me to go home with him. The ‘home’ was another wrestler’s couch, he offered up someone else’s home without their permission to try and fuck me. He offered me sex multiple times, and when I told him I had a partner, that was ignored, despite my partner being only a few feet away. When I asked the wrestler if his wife would mind, indicating his wedding ring, this was also ignored – apparently they have an ‘arrangement.’ He refused to take ‘No’ for an answer.
He deliberately isolated me from my friends and my partner, sitting me on the furthest side of the tables, pushing his leg against mine, sitting beside me, almost ontop of me. He also made comments about the self-harm scars on my arms – an attempt at negging? Touching and stroking without my permission. Whatever it was, it was disgusting. I ignored it all as a bit of fun, laughing it off in the moment, surely I should feel flattered that a man all the way from America with a wildly impressive resume of titles and matches, arguably the most famous wrestler I have met, but I didn’t. I was left feeling hollow and empty, I finally managed to get away from him, making excuses that I was needed elsewhere. Eventually he left. That was that. My introduction to the social atmosphere behind professional wrestling. I have never forgotten it, and I don’t think I ever will. It wasn’t a joke, it wasn’t some fun. It was wrong, it crossed boundaries. I was victimized, harassed and taken advantage of. Fuck you.
Since I’m seeing so many people defend him, fuck anonymity. The man in this story is Joey Ryan.”
And Marky wrote, "The first legit independent wrestling show I went to was GCW: just being honest. I was overwhelmed and didn’t know what to expect. I was mainly excited to see Effy and for that reason had my pride scarf on. It was already scary at that because I didn’t know how fans would perceive me. The fans were amazing. Two wrestlers weren’t. I went to the merch table and David Starr and Joey Ryan were next to each other with merch. I went to them looking at merch not knowing what to buy. I settles on a ‘We the Independent’ beanie and asked them for a picture. They came up to me and the first thing Joey did was look at my pride scarf and say, “Do you want to take a pictures of you holding my dick or would that turn you on.” It threw me off but I brushed it off as cis humor and laughed. Joey then said “or do you want to do it to me” and tried to grope me with his hand. I backed up in hesitation and bumped into David who was behind me and he said, “Joey maybe he’s a bottom” and he tried to slap my ass. I awkwardly stood aside as the fan took the picture.
I told the fan to delete it after as I didn’t want that image existing to come up in my mind ever again. That experience still exists in my mind and might not go away, ever. I was already questioning my sexuality as is and that just made me feel like being gay/pansexual wasn’t “okay”. I don’t even know if he remembers that happening. But thank you. Thank you Effy for also helping me with sexuality after that encounter and making me forget the experience for the time being and make me proud to don the rainbow.”
On Saturday night, Joey Ryan addressed the allegations.
In his statement, he wrote, "After speaking with my attorney, I have been advised not to respond to any specific allegations at this time, and the truth of the matter is, I do not want to spend time dissecting what parts of the stories are true, which parts are different from what I remember and which things being said are outright false. It is important for me to use this platform to take responsibility and not attempt to minimize the feelings of anyone that was hurt by me in order to save face."
He then admitted he didn't always treat people with respect and possibly invaded personal space and made this feel uncomfortable. He also noted that he has been in counseling since October 2018. He also claims he has reached out to some people involved and has had positive interactions with them.
You can view his full statement below.
Anthem, the parent company for IMPACT Wrestling, commented on the situation saying they are following the allegations and reviewing incidents.
UPDATE: On July 18, Joey Ryan posted a video update on the accusations.
Fightful will continue to update fans on the story as more is known.