Mom of WWE legend Chyna threatens to sue ‘Autopsy’ show on her death
The mother of WWE Hall of Famer Chyna is trying to stop the television network Reelz from airing an upcoming episode of its new docuseries, “Autopsy: The Last Hours Of…” — which promises to reveal “the truth” about the former wrestler’s death.
“I am not too happy about this, to say the least,” wrote Chyna’s mom, Jan LaQue, in a lengthy Facebook post on Sunday.
“Whatever happened in her last hours is just that, supposition and conjecture. Not the truth as no one knows that, not even me,” LaQue seethed. “I don’t know why so many people continue to be fascinated with the dark side and end of Joanie’s life rather than the positives about her life and pretend that they know the truth about what happened, and have the need to drag me, her mother, and my family through all of this dark conjecture over and over again.”
Writing in the comments section of the post, LaQue said: “It’s just another way to cash in on her in her death. Appalling to me. Leave the girl and her family alone. It’s my job as her mother to protect her legacy as much as I can. Enough is enough. There are just too many vultures circling around.”
Chyna, whose legal name was Joanie Laurer, died in 2016 of an accidental drug overdose at age 45. She had been struggling with substance abuse at the time of her death and was allegedly mixing alcohol with prescription pills.
The synopsis for the Aug. 25 episode of “Autopsy” that focuses on her reads as this:
“On April 20th 2016, professional wrestling legend Chyna died from an overdose in her Los Angeles apartment. Once celebrated as the ninth wonder of the world – Chyna’s life unravelled after she left WWE and she became infamous as a casualty of drug and alcohol abuse. After a mysterious 4-year-long exile in Japan, Chyna returned to the US intent on reinventing herself – only to die alone 9 months later at the age of just 46. In this episode, expert Coroner and Forensic Pathologist, Dr. Michael Hunter unpacks the secrets of Chyna’s autopsy report and together with accounts from friends, pieces together the truth about Chyna’s tragic death.”
The former champ’s mother threatened to take legal action in her FB post, and also reportedly sent emails to Reelz expressing her outrage.
“I want to make it clear to you, very very clear, that NO ONE – NO ONE – really knows what happened during Joanie’s final hours So you can’t possibly air something on the supposed “Truth” because you don’t know it. I don’t know it!” wrote LaQue, according to Pro Wrestling Sheet.
“I expect a contact immediately back from you stating that you will not be airing this program,” she continued. “If I don’t hear from you by the end of the day on Monday, August 12th 2019, you will give me no other choice but to have my attorney contact you on this matter. So someone had better contact me on this ASAP.”
LaQue has threatened to sue both Reelz and the actress playing her daughter on “Autopsy” — Kerry Newton, of the UK. She has also blasted people who helped work on the episode.
“Anyone and everyone connected with this…including these supposed friends that they interviewed to produce whatever they’ve produced, needs to be put on notice, warned, and informed that I am going to take legal action on this,” LaQue said on FB. “And that includes Kerry…I have informed Kerry publically [sic] on her FB page that she need to inform those who have had a part to play in the making of this film.”
Chyna’s mom blamed “the emotional distress (and therefore physical stress)” that the show’s existence has caused her, “not to mention not giving anyone clearance to anyone to use [her daughter’s] likeness or private medical information” as reasons why she wants to sue.
She cited an old social media post that Newton made while filming the “Autopsy” episode, in which claimed to have had “a blast” on set.
“She had a BLAST filming it? How morbid and disgusting is that?” LaQue wrote in her emails to producers, according to Pro Wrestling Sheet.
“How can you have a BLAST portraying a human being who died so tragically? How can you even consider taking on the role of playing her without checking with your lawyers on whether or not it was cleared by the estate? How can you not contact her mother prior to taking on the role? This is just unbelievable. If you continue on with this and defame Chyna or tarnish her legacy in any way, you are really opening yourself up to defamation. Not to mention personal and emotional duress on the part of myself and her family because of what you are doing.”
Reps for Reelz could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday night. A spokesman offered a statement to Wrestling Sheet, but refused to mention Chyna or her mother directly.
“Autopsy: The Last Hours of… responsibly explores the circumstances of the passing of well-known and genuinely loved celebrities who the public cares about immensely,” the statement said. “The REELZ series generates much feedback from our viewers ranging from fans who tell us it provides closure, medical professionals who praise its scientific accuracy and many who gain helpful perspective of health issues that might not otherwise receive attention like Karen Carpenter who brought anorexia into the public consciousness and, more recently, with Prince whose passing focused attention on the Opioid epidemic.”