World Wrestling Entertainment is sending letters to formerly contracted performers offering to pay for drug and/or alcohol treatment. According to one person who has received it, the letter is printed on WWE stationery and is hand-signed by Vince McMahon himself. Here is a transcript of the letter WWE is sending out to their ex-performers:
Over the last ten years, an inordinate number of wrestlers have passed away. Some of those deaths may in part have been caused by drugs and alcohol.
In an effort to prevent such tragedies in the future, the WWE is willing to pay for drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation at a certified treatment chosen by WWE for any performer with a prior WWE booking contract who may need this service. The WWE will pay for this service in full.
There is no cost to you or your family. Help will be provided regardless of the circumstances of your departure from the WWF or the amount of time you performed for the WWE.
If you do not have a drug and/or alcohol problem, but know you know a former WWE performer who does, we are asking you to try to help them by encouraging them to take advantage of this opportunity.
Liz Difabio has been appointed as a representative in this matter. Liz has been with the company for over 24 years and has been directly involved with the majority of WWE performers who have received treatment for substance abuse. She understands emotions that individuals and family members go through in this process. Any conversation you have with Liz will remain confidential and will not be released to the public.
In many instances, an individual in need of help is in denial and will not want rehabilitation. There are professional intervention companies that will help persuade that person that they need treatment. Liz will be able to facilitate such interventions, should they be necessary. An intervention and treatment will be at the cost of WWE exclusively.
This service is being provided for performers with a prior WWE booking contract only. No family or friends. Please reach out to Liz if you think you might have a drug or alcohol problem or if you know someone who does. We all need to do anything we can to help prevent another tragedy.
Vincent K. McMahon Chairman, World Wrestling Entertainment
Newsday has picked up on the WWE rehab letter that was published Friday. Newsday reports that WWE officials say the letter was sent to over 500 wrestlers beginning a week ago. "The decision to do so was made by Vince as a humanitarian gesture, period," WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt said in a statement. "It is not intended to be, nor is it … an acknowledgment of responsibility for the substance problems of anybody." McDevitt said WWE’s gesture "will do no more than help those who want to help themselves but lack the resources to pay for rehabilitation." Former WWE and WCW star Chris Kanyon told Newsday that the effort is "a big turnaround" from McMahon’s past attempts to distance WWE from talk of drug problems.