August 16, 2020, is a date that Sonya Deville will never forget. The former WWE Official was the victim of a petrifying incident that saw a stalker, ready to take her hostage, break into her home. The culprit, Phillip A. Thomas II, 24, from South Carolina, was arrested at the scene, but he was found incompetent to stand trial during a court hearing last May and was sent to a mental health facility.

It has almost been two years since the incident occurred, but Deville has revealed how she continues to deal with those that pose a threat to her. “I don’t think I’ve really figured it out yet,” Deville told Forbes. “I feel like I’m just kind of taking it day by day and trying to figure out where that line is. I mean, at the end of the day, I choose to be in the spotlight and I choose to share my story and my journey to an extent with the fans because I think that it could help.

“And I remember being 19 years old, 20 years old, closeted and not comfortable with my sexuality, and kind of like, yearning for that representation in the public eye. And so I take pride in that, so I don’t ever regret putting myself out there but I do think I take more precautions now than I did in the beginning just to make sure the people around me and myself can share our story, but in a safe space. And I just encourage the fans always to appreciate that and respect that we love you guys, and we want to interact with you guys, and we want to have fun and be able to DM you back, and message you back, and interact. But, you know, they got to know where the line is, too.”

Along with Deville, the rest of the world is currently celebrating Pride Month – a month-long celebration of LGBTQ+ communities all over the globe. Deville came out as a lesbian in 2015 during her WWE tryout on “Tough Enough”, eventually becoming the first openly gay female wrestler in the company. Following a run on “NXT”, the 28-year-old got her first start on the WWE main roster as part of the “Absolution” team alongside Mandy Rose and Paige.

Deville eventually went on to enter a love triangle storyline involving Rose, Dolph Ziggler, and Otis. She lost a “Loser Leaves WWE” match to Rose around the same time as the terrifying stalker experience, which ultimately provided her some time off to deal with the after-effects of the incident. Her latest major storyline came in the form of being a WWE Official with Adam Pearce, before being ousted in May due to regularly abusing her position.

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