Ex-WWE star and “Survivor” contestant Ashley Massaro might have her brain donated to the study of CTE in professional wrestlers.
Massaro died Thursday, the WWE said.
“It was her desire to donate her brain to be studied,” her lawyer Konstantine Kyros said in a statement to CNN, acknowledging this could only happen if Massaro’s family abides by her wishes.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, is a degenerative brain disease that can only be definitively diagnosed after death.
The 39-year-old worked with the WWE from 2005-2008 and was one of 60 former pro-wrestlers who sued the organization in 2016. The lawsuit claimed WWE made wrestlers perform maneuvers that caused them to incur head injuries, and failed to care for them when they were injured.
CNN has reached out to WWE for comment, but has not heard back.
In a 2016 statement, WWE said the lawsuit was “another ridiculous attempt by the same attorney who has previously filed class action lawsuits against WWE, both of which have been dismissed. A federal judge has already found that this lawyer made patently false allegations about WWE, and this is more of the same. We’re confident this lawsuit will suffer the same fate as his prior attempts and be dismissed.”
The lawsuit was dismissed in September 2018. Massaro’s appeal was scheduled to be filed on July 8, Kyros said, which is why it’s important to examine her brain now to see if there are signs of CTE.
Kyro said six other wrestlers he has represented were diagnosed with CTE after their deaths by Dr. Bennet Omalu, who is credited with first discovering CTE in professional football players.