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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Ronda Rousey Accuses Top WWE Trainer of Inappropriate Behavior

  • Rousey told ‘NewsNation’ she confronted trainer Drew Gulak after he grabbed the string of her sweatpants.
  • In her new book, she describes what she calls a ‘sexist, patriarchal culture within the WWE.’
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Former UFC and WWE star Ronda Rousey told NewsNation on Tuesday that Drew Gulak, a wrestler and top trainer for WWE, once reached down and grabbed the string of her sweatpants with other people around. 

She described the incident as illustrative of what she called a “sexist, patriarchal culture within the WWE” in her recently published autobiography. The company culture has been coming under increasing scrutiny since a former employee named Janel Grant filed a lawsuit accusing WWE founder Vince McMahon, who has since left the company, of trafficking and abusing her.  

“It just put a really sour taste in my mouth about the culture there and what’s considered acceptable and how to touch and treat the women,” Rousey said of the incident with Gulak.

Rousey said she was in a hallway outside the writer’s room with two writers and waiting to meet with top executive Paul “Triple H” Levesque when Gulak, whom she described as “barely an acquaintance,” grabbed the string of her sweatpants. 

“What the f*** was that?” she recalled saying. (In a post Wednesday morning, Gulak said he “accidentally touched her drawstring” in 2022 and that he apologized at the time.)

“Nobody around me acted as if it was abnormal,” she said. “I’m like, if this guy is coming up to me and doing this kind of stuff to me when there’s other people around, like what’s happening to these other girls when it’s not in the hallway or something like that? So that really, really put me on edge, too. Like, not only is this behavior prevalent, but it’s so prevalent that people don’t even realize it’s a problem.” 

Gulak has been with WWE since 2016. McMahon reportedly entrusted him with training “Stone Cold” Steve Austin ahead of the latter’s comeback at WrestleMania 38, and he also trained celebrities like Bad Bunny and Logan Paul for their wrestling appearances.

Rousey, a former Olympic medalist in judo, recalled telling Gulak, “‘If I ever hear about you putting like your hands on any other woman like this or doing anything like this to me ever again, we’re gonna have a’—you know, I’m editing myself, all the swear words out—but ‘we’re gonna have a problem.’ And he was like, ‘No, no, no, you know. I’m glad that you said something to me.’”

Rousey has been harshly critical of McMahon and the company in media appearances to promote her book. In one recent interview, she said she left WWE last year because “I just didn’t wanna be Vince’s action f***ing figure anymore.” 

Spokespeople for WWE and TKO, its parent company, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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