Father: Linda McMahon "disrespected" dead wrestler son

The Senate candidate says she can't remember if she knew the deceased, but the wrestler's father remembers

Published August 26, 2010 7:30PM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Fun fact: World Wrestling Entertainment considers its wrestlers "independent contractors," not actual employees, and so the very profitable corporation does not actually provide its wrestlers with health insurance. Former WWE CEO Linda McMahon, currently running for Senate, seems to have lied about one dead wrestler in particular, according to a Connecticut paper's damning story.

From The Day newspaper:

McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, was asked last week about the death of McNaught's son, who wrestled for the WWE as Lance Cade and who had struggled with an addiction to painkillers before being released by the company, then dying earlier this month of heart failure.

"I might have met him once," McMahon said as she insisted that the company could not be blamed for deaths of its employees outside the ring.

Yes, well, according to Mr. Cade's father, Harley McNaught, that's bullshit. "I've been with him on two different WWE functions where she came up to him and knew him by name," McNaught told the paper.

Furthermore, before his death, Cade gave interviews in which he alleged what basically everyone already assumes about the WWE management: that it encourages developing wrestlers to use steroids if they want to get ahead.

The McMahon campaign denies everything, and answers the claim of McNaught by repeating the claim that she doesn't remember this poor dead man.

"WWE has nearly 600 employees and about 140 performers, and I think it's understandable that Linda may not recollect every interaction she's had, particularly given the fact that she's personally met with thousands of voters since resigning her position at WWE in September," said spokesman Ed Patru. "Linda's a very kind and sympathetic person, but she is human."

Cade began using painkillers after an on-the-job injury, and continued wrestling through the pain because he was scared of losing his job should he take time off to heal. He died of heart failure. He was 29.

By Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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