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Jury Clears WWE in Harassment Suit

October 9, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ A federal jury cleared World Wrestling Entertainment and one of its executives of sexual harassment Tuesday, rejecting the claims of 6-foot-2, 230-pound ex-wrestler Nicole Bass.

The decision capped a wild three-week trial that included testimony from WWE chairman Vince McMahon, who detailed the world of pro wrestling.

After the verdict, WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt called Bass’ case ``a bunch of flimsy garbage, just a shakedown. ... She wanted money from a company that she thought would roll over and pay it. She was wrong.″

Bass’ attorney, Kathleen Tomlinson, was not immediately available for comment, according to a person who answered the phone at her office.

Bass, 38, had alleged that a male wrestler ``graphically simulated a sexual act″ behind her back; that male WWE employees accosted female wrestlers in locker rooms; and that she was sexually assaulted on an airplane by a WWE executive.

The executive, Steve Lombardi, was cleared of sexual harassment.

McMahon had testified that Bass’ ``unusual look″ _ she can bench press 315 pounds _ made her a potential WWE superstar. But once Bass stepped inside the ring, McMahon said, she had ``two left feet″ and quickly washed out.

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