On April 20, 2016, former Intercontinental Champion Joanie “Chyna” Laurer was found dead in her Redondo Beach, California home at the age of 46. Days before her death, Chyna posted a video documenting her day, which included making a smoothie, discussing the importance of taking B vitamins as a vegan, and loving the view from her home. She promised to keep her fans posted throughout the day, and hoped that she will have a beautiful day along with her viewers. Unfortunately, that was the last video of Chyna before her death.
Her manager, Anthony Anzaldo, affirmed the police reports suspecting that the death was an accidental overdose, stating that she used them improperly although having a prescription. Her autopsy showed that she had taken a mixture of alcohol with diazepam, nordazepam, oxycodone, oxymorphone, and temazepam.
Two years after her death, Anzaldo posted a GoFundMe page with the goal to raise $25,000 to place Chyna’s ashes, which he possesses 25% of, in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, CA. 50% was in the Pacific Ocean in Redondo Beach, and her mother possesses the other 25%. Anzaldo offered packages for greater amounts ? a $200 donation would receive an official Chyna Memorial t-shirt and autographed 8×10 signed by Chyna from her last personal appearances; a $500 donation received a t-shirt, an autographed 8×10, and two seats at Chyna’s Memorial.
Anzaldo also itemized the $25,000 figure ? $18,700 for Tier 4 Glass front Single Niche in the Judy Garland Pavillion plus cemetery fees, $545 interment fee (purchasing of burial plot), $8.50 DCA fee (added to every burial or cremation in the state of California), $87.00 re-file permit, $1,000 for a one-hour use of Historical Chapel for the memorial service, and $4,659.50 for flowers, musicians, sound, video screens, and incidental expenses for the memorial venue.
Almost immediately, Anzaldo received backlash from loved ones and friends regarding this campaign. In addition to being heavily criticized by fans, Chyna’s mother intercepted the mission and posted a statement on the campaign page.
As CHYNA’s mother and sole beneficiary, technically and legally, I own these ashes that Anthony is talking about. And he has no right to even have them let alone decide how to dispose of them. I allowed him to keep 3/4 of them initially with the understanding and agreement on his part that all 3/4 of them would be scattered in the Pacific ocean. He was NOT supposed to keep any of them back. Obviously that didn’t happen. I have had enough dealings with Anthony Anzaldo to know that he could care less about Chyna’s fans. His sole interest is in himself, making money off of others, and making himself look good. Beware of giving his campaign any money. Obviously I will be contacting go fund me and an attorney, if I need to, to shut this down.
PLEASE don’t donate to this Go Fund me. IT IS A SCAM. Anthony was supposed to scatter all of the ashes that he had of my daughter’s in the Pacific Ocean. Obviously he lied about that. Technically and legally, any of the ashes he has now belong to me, as my daughter’s sole beneficiary. This is nothing more than a scam to get your money from you. I can tell you story after story about Anthony and my dealings with him and how he treated me and my attorneys. STAY AWAY FROM THIS GUY. He is a snake. He never really cared about CHYNA. Only what he could make off her – and now even in her death. I know for a fact that she fired him before her death. Save your money. Donate to a reputable animal rescue which Chyna would love.
Anzaldo responded to Jan LaQue’s statement:
This is not a scam. This is very real. This is both for Chyna and her fans. Her Mother, who didn’t see her for 30 years, is hateful for reasons beyond me. I will not engage, but I can assure everyone that I have the legal right to do with what I wish with the 1/4 remains that I have a permit to own authorized by the State Of California. 1/2 of her remains were spread in the Pacific Ocean and 1/4 his with her Mother. Those are the facts. Chyna would love to be visited by her fans next to one of her idols, don’t let the haters be the gate keepers.
In response, LaQue issued an even more extensive plea for people not to give to the campaign.
In spite of what Anthony says, I can assure you that this is a scam. I have saved every single email from Joanie before she died and also spoken with a WWE wrestling star who told me directly that he knew that Anthony was fired by Joanie before she died. In fact, he told me that Anthony even told him that!!. She hated Anthony and would NEVER have wanted Anthony to do what he is proposing to do. I am not hateful. Actually I’m far from it. I just hate the idea that Anthony continues to try to scam others out of money by playing the “friend” role. It’s just not true. I have hundreds of emails to prove what I’m saying. Also, my attorneys, both here in NC and CA, have told me on several occasions what kind of person Anthony is and how horribly Anthony treated them. NOW – TO BE CLEAR, I have in several documents in my possession regarding Joanie’s remains. First is a cremation purchase receipt from Best Cremation Care of CA, in which there was a permit issued to cremate her remains. There was no permit issued for ownership to Anthony Anzaldo. In fact, also in my possession is a signed by me and notarized letter dated April 22, 2016, addressed to whom it may concern, which authorizes Anthony Anzaldo to make certain decisions with regard to Joanie’s remains including release of her body by the LA coroner, election of a cremation facility, and funeral/memorial services.
The restrictions to these decisions are/were as follows: Anthony was to review any plan for cremation and funeral services with me prior to execution for family approval. In addition, Anthony was to arrange for Joan’s ashes to be sent to me in North Carolina. Further the letter of authorization extended to my daughter’s personal effects. Anthony was to gain access to Joanie’s living quarters and excess monies and personal affects be forwarded to me. This letter also clearly states that ALL decisions of Anthony Anzaldo shall be binding up me after my written approval of the decisions. Well, that never happened. Anthony just went on his merry way acting like he was this big shot, and calling all the shots and decisions without getting my approval in writing for anything. There was nothing ever in writing signed and notarized by me approving of any of Anthony’s decisions, including that celebration service he held for her in which he just made a decision to give away Joanie’s cello which, under CA law, was legally my property as I was/am her sole beneficiary. Nor is there anything in writing at this point with regards to his big GOFUNDME campaign now and his right to even have these ashes let alone make a decision on what to do with them. As usual, he is trying to pull something over on the fans. And for the record, anyone who wants to discuss anything with me regarding Anthony’s deceptiveness, has only to go on facebook and message me. I will certainly reply back. Also, for the record, I’m going to contact the police and file whatever I need to file with regard to Anthony’s latest actions and the ashes.
Chyna’s ex-boyfriend, Sean “X-Pac” Waltman, chimed in on the matter, stating, “We scattered her ashes at sea. There are no remains.”
As a result of the major backlash, Anzaldo has decided to close down the campaign with only two donations totaling $35 raised. He also left this statement.
“I am going to shut down this page tomorrow and my YouTube post. The negative energy around all of this is ridiculous. I will get the funds privately and put Chyna at the Hollywood Cemetery without all of this, I just thought it would be great if it were done by the fans, but once again “The Wicked Witch Of The East” and all her goodies step in to make noise…funny how she will be laid to rest just a few feet from Judy Garland. What I will say is that I have every legal and moral right to do what I am doing and once again, we put 50% of Chyna’s ashes in the Pacific Ocean, 1/4 went to her Mother and 1/4 went to me and that is what is in the urn, I have the permit to prove it. I also listed where all of the funds were going, all costs are verifiable. A few bad apples….”
Keeping to his promise, the YouTube video has been officially removed.