Tom Cole, Accuser In WWE Ring Boy Scandal, Commits Suicide
He was 50-years-old
Tom Cole, an accuser in the WWE Ring Boy Scandal, committed suicide on Friday his brother Lee Cole has announced on Twitter.
Lee wrote: "My brother Tom Committed suicide a couple of hours ago. Vince McMahon 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."
Cole worked as a ring boy in WWE in the late 1980s and early 1990s and accused Terry Garvin and Mel Phillips of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment. Other allegations against Garvin and Phillips later emerged in what became known as the Ring Boy Scandal. David Bixenspan wrote a detailed account of the scandal in an October 2020 Business Insider article, which you can read here.
Cole also accused WWE Hall Of Famer Pat Patterson of making sexual gestures while he was a ring boy and told Wrestling Perspective in 1999: "Well, there was an issue with Pat Patterson. He used to, when I was younger, I can't be specific, but l was in the 15-year-old range, 16-year-old, he'd look at you when he was talking to you, he'd look right at your cr***h and he'd like lick his lips and s**t. He’d make sexual gestures by looking at you like that. He put his hand on your ass and squeeze your ass and stuff like that. He'd check you out like you were a chick. That's pretty much all that he did."
Cole reached an out of court settlement with WWE which included the company paying for his education. Cole talked about the settlement with Wrestling Perspective, saying: "I got my job back, two years back pay, they could never like try to say, try to go against me what they agreed with the understanding of everything that happened to me. They weren’t going to try to fight that issue and Terry Garvin and Mel Phillips would never, ever again be employed by Titan Sports or the World Wrestling Federation or any parent company thereof. They had a clause in there about Pat Patterson, but it wasn’t pertaining to him never working for the company again. So they knew from the beginning, which I didn't realize being young and not looking at the document. I was young. Pat Patterson wound up coming back a couple of weeks later."
Cole later added: "I started going to school and they paid for it. But I didn't do good in college because it was very hard concentrating. Going through all that stuff, I could not concentrate on anything and I failed. I failed out and they said, 'We'll give you one more opportunity to do good in school,' and I didn't. I went to Linda McMahon before I went back the next semester and I was like, 'I can't handle the college aspect right now. I've got too many things on my mind that I just cannot handle doing that. I feel like I want to come back and do something. I don't want to just be getting paid. You're paying me now and I'm not doing anything. I don't like that feeling. I'll come back. I'll do anything. I'll come to the office and I'll sweep and mop the floors because I want to do something. I don't want to get paid for no reason.' She was like, 'That's not necessary. Just concentrate on school.' So she totally ignored me saying I can't handle it. I failed and they gave me my notice. She wrote me a letter saying, 'You had the opportunity of a lifetime and you let it slip through your fingers. It's a shame' and ba-ba-ba, ba-ba-ba. That was pretty much my pink slip. But that was used as an excuse because I collected unemployment and they fought my unemployment like five to six separate times and I won my appeal every single time."
Lee Cole has called out Vince and Linda McMahon in a series of tweets over the past few days, writing: "We are talking about grown men that molested children for a long period of time in the WWE. Did other men like my Brother Tom, kill themselves because of the pain. The McMahons covered for Patterson, Garvin and Phillips, who else did they cover for.
"This is my brother Tom when he was 14 years old wearing a WWF cap. This is when the WWE starting grooming him. Mel Phillips would find good looking kids and groom them with lies about working for WWE. VINCE STOOD BYE AND LET IT HAPPEN. He seen these kids everyday. As did Linda!
"My brother was a good man, a good father until the pain was to much to bear. Remember this company WWE would take underage children across state lines. He was a perfect victim, father not around and alcoholic mother. These men knew what to look for.
"Note to Vince and Linda, I will do everything in my power "legally" and make sure that you answer for the lives you have destroyed. I ask twitter to please not let these people shut me down. They are despicable human beings. Believe me they will come for me. #thisisfortommy"
Cultaholic sends its condolences to Mr. Cole's family and friends.