Tom Cole: Victim of WWE Ring Boy sex scandal commits suicide. The passing away was confirmed by his brother on social media earlier tonight.
The WWE have dealt with several scandals during their existence. While there are some very well known ones such as Chris Benoit’s double murder suicide and the steroid scandal, there are some that have comparatively stayed under the radar.
1992’s Ring Boy scandal is one of them. The then WWE announcer Mel Philips and Director of Wrestling Operations Terry Garvin (real name Terry Joyal) was accused of sexually molesting ring boys, who were generally young underage male.
Tom Cole claimed that Joyal tried to solicit him twice, once when he was 16 and when he was 19. After turning Joyal’s advances down, he was fired the next day. He also claimed that Philips had an unhealthy obsession with his feet. The WWE were reportedly aware of this unnatural fascination.
Vince McMahon denied knowing anything about the incident during his appearance on Larry King Live in 1992. However, New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick wrote in a 1992 column that McMahon was aware of it and fired Phillips for taking an “unnatural” interest in young boys before Linda McMahon rehired him out of pity.
He was warned to stay away from the kids; an order he clearly did not adhere to.
The McMahon’s went after Mushnick and the Post a year later but never challenged the account of Vince’s conversation with Mushnick in their lawsuit. The defamation case was settled in 1994 with neither Mushnick nor the Post admitting any error.
WWE and Cole would eventually come to an agreement. The WWE agreed to hire him back, pay him $55,000, and even offered him a tryout as a ring announcer.
Cole alleged that the WWE only bought him back to gain insight into the investigation on them by The Department of Justice and a federal grand jury. This would eventually mentally tire him. He told Linda McMahon that he no longer wished to divulge information with her anymore and just wanted to work.
Cole’s settlement with the WWE saw them pay for his education. He would however, lose his job if he dropped out, failed any class, or did not “make satisfactory progress toward [his] degree” at community college.
Linda would personally fire Cole after he failed all of his classes with poor attendance. “The opportunity of a lifetime is a terrible thing to waste” she had reportedly told Cole. Cole claimed that he could not handle school after everything he had been through but was forced to do so by the WWE.
Lee Cole, the older brother of Tom encouraged him to go public. But found himself accused by Linda of negatively influencing his younger sibling and conspiring to destroy the WWE.
“Tom has been and continues to be manipulated by his brother Lee Cole,” Linda McMahon said in her interview with the Charleston Post and Courier in 1993.
Cole’s unemployment appeals were turned down because the company claimed he was fired for nonpayment of a company cellphone bill.
His passing was confirmed on Social media earlier tonight by his brother Lee.
“My brother Tom Committed suicide a couple of hours ago. Vince Mc Mahon and his wife Linda let child molesters into their companies years ago and did everything possible to cover up what they did to my brother. I hope you can sleep good at night Vince. Our family suffers. Thank U,” he wrote.
My brother Tom Committed suicide a couple of hours ago. Vince Mc Mahon and his wife Linda let child molesters into their companies years ago and did everything possible to cover up what they did to my brother. I hope you can sleep good at night Vince. Our family suffers. Thank U
— leecole3 (@leeroycole) February 13, 2021
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