Mere days after his surprise return on last week's Friday Night SmackDown, Lars Sullivan found himself in the middle of yet another controversy over the weekend. Screenshots of an Instagram direct message conversation between Sullivan and Annika Naidoo-Fuge, a fitness instructor who runs the account @YogaForTheAthlete, made their way online revealing Sullivan asking for explicit photos. She declined, then gave an interview with BodySlam.net to give context to the situation.
"Essentially Lars had been friendly for the best part of a year and the inappropriate comments only started recently," Naidoo-Fuge explained. "As a professional who is good at what she does, I just think it's a little sad that men feel they can send messages like that. It's insulting."
She then posted a handful of screenshots showing their interactions, before writing, "I gave him the benefit of the doubt and was friendly! But a line was crossed."
Another woman came forward via Twitter on Sunday with similar accusations. On Monday @WrestleVotes reported how Sullivan has been received backstage following his lengthy absence.
WWE is aware of Lars Sullivans’ latest “troubles” and it’s beyond safe to say he doesn’t have many supporters left in the locker room. However, one of those supporters has the ultimate say, so that’s that.— WrestleVotes (@WrestleVotes) October 12, 2020
Back in 2019 Sullivan (Dylan Miley) was revealed to have written a series of racist, sexist and homophobic posts on the Bodybuilding.com forum in the years prior to signing with WWE. He was fined $100,000 by the WWE and suffered a major knee injury the following month that removed him from the television product.
"There is no excuse for the inappropriate remarks that I made years ago," Sullivan wrote in a statement at the time. "They do not reflect my personal beliefs nor who I am today, and I apologize to anyone I offended."
"WWE supports a culture of inclusion regardless of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation, and we are committed to embracing all individuals as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide," WWE wrote in a statement. "Dylan Miley (aka Lars Sullivan) will be fined $100,000 and required to complete sensitivity training for offensive commentary uncovered from his past. WWE will also facilitate meetings for Dylan with community organizations to foster further discussion around the power of social media and the impact of your words.