Melina Perez was victimized last year when explicit photos of the former WWE Superstar were released without her consent. She recently opened up about the horrific events and how she learned to endure it.
The former WWE Divas Champion recently took part in a Periscope session where she expanded on what she went though when nude photos of her were leaked online. She expressed a desire to make sure it didn't happen to anyone else and expanded on how she felt violated while left to cope with the situation.
"That was kind of a horrific experience in my life," Melina said. "Because that was something very intimate that I was sharing with the love of my life. For somebody to steal that kind of stuff and put it out there. That was really horrible. That's kind of the way it was comparable to my rape in a sense because it was violating.
"So the person who stole those pictures that I sent to someone I cared about and love, it was an intimate thing between two people who love each other. It was a horrible thing for someone to do. It was something that I needed to learn like I had to cope with, I just don't want it to happen to anybody else. I'm thankful that I was able to overcome that like my mind was able to process that to be able to be okay with it. That's a horrible thing too especially as a woman.
"When you get taught that your body and you as a sexual being needs to be clean and untainted. People always want women to be a virgin like untouched like they've never slept with anybody but the fact is that we are human. I wish I could only be with one person but then you break up, or they leave you, or life happens and you go separate ways. Women are humans, so when it comes to pictures like that, we're seen as things and they took it and just threw it all over the place and it's a horrific thing to do that to a human being like me who was brought up being taught with what I grew up with. Your body shouldn't be looked at by anybody but your love."
Melina's privacy wasn't the only thing affected, but her values felt at risk as well. She was raised to only allow her partner to see her like that, and now those images are availble to anyone with an internet connection. The former member of MNM revealed that she turned down an offer from Playboy because she didn't want to violate her morals which were targeted when her personal photos were released online.
"My mind couldn't process that and it took a long time for me to understand that, 'it's something that happened, it has nothing to do with me, I didn't do anything wrong, this person did something wrong by violating me and going through my stuff and stealing my personal pictures.' I had to cope with other people seeing my naked body.
"I refused Playboy because I wanted to keep from being seen and to only be there for the person that I love. It was a huge hurtful experience. So thank you for feeling sorry that those things happened to me, thank you for that. But it is what it is, sadly. It's wrong. People should never do that and because I've been able to accept that as something that happened.
"I would like to see that happen to the person who posted all those things and did all that stuff. I mean they wouldn't like it. Thank goodness I looked good. But at the same time, it is hurtful, it is horrible."
Melina didn't give up after failing to make the final cut before entering the house in the third season of Tough Enough. She was with WWE from 2004 to 2011 becoming a three-time WWE Women's Champion and two-time Divas Champion in the process. As Melina looks back at her career, she is not only surprised WWE hired the shy 24-year-old who couldn't make it onto their reality television competition, but she is also grateful at the opportunities WWE presented her.
Although Melina wishes more chances were open during her time with WWE, she realizes how she lived a dream few get to experience.
"I wish I got to experience wrestling at a time when I could have done more," Melina said. "But since everything happens for a reason, I did my part. I put my part out there and that's great and I'm thankful for that. Of course, as a wrestler, we want to do all the things we dreamed of and to not be able to do that it's kind of like, it hurt. But at the same time, it is what it is.
"As wrestlers, the fact that we even get into that ring, that's the most incredible thing ever. You need to take pride in that, I'm grateful for the experience, for even being a part of the WWE. It was a thing that I didn't think I would ever be able to do so I'm blessed to have gotten that opportunity especially before that time I was so shy.
"I wouldn't have hired me. Like, I'm being real. I would not have hired me because I was very quiet. I was very shy and very timid. But because they gave me an opportunity, working there, it opened me up. It took a quiet, shy person and taught her how to be vocal and larger than life. To be everything, it taught me so many lessons, it was a great thing."
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