Roberts wrote about being bullied constantly by Layfield, including him asking two wrestlers to steal his passport while WWE was on an overseas tour. He was later teased about the incident by WWE owner Vince McMahon after a meeting.
After Layfield denied the allegation on Twitter and referred to Roberts as an "idiot,” former WWE wrestler John Hennigan told the website Deadspin he and his tag team partner at the time were asked by Layfield to steal his passport.
In an interview with writer David Bixenspan, Hennigan said they were asked by Layfield to take Roberts passport.
“I remember it ‘being a thing,’ you know?,” Hennigan told Bixenspan. “We were looking at Justin, he was a few rows ahead of us on this plane, sleeping. We were like, ‘What do we do?’”
Hennigan said he was a frequent target of Layfield’s bullying, and discussed with his partner about participating in what Layfield labeled “a great prank” in order to keep from being targeted themselves.
“Ultimately we considered our options and decided not to do it,” Hennigan said.
After Roberts’ book was released, Meltzer said he was contacted by 15 former WWE employees who said they were bullied by Layfield, and was approached by more in Orlando during WWE’s Wrestlemania event last weekend.
“They like humiliating people,” Roberts wrote in his book, quoted by Bixenspan of Deadspin. “They like laughing at people. The way wrestling is entertainment to us wrestling fans, humiliating people was just entertainment to the bosses.”
Layfield is a former wrestler and a noted stock expert who regularly appears on Fox News business programming. He has been a subject of controversy in the company for years for bullying and using real punches and kicks in the ring against wrestlers who were below his level in the company hierarchy.
Numerous wrestlers have spoken out about Layfield after they left WWE. YouTube has dozens of interviews where former performers discuss harassment, bullying and taking real blows from Layfield while wrestling him in supposedly choreographed matches.
CBSSports.com reported Ranallo is not expected to appear again on WWE television. He also deleted all mentions of WWE from his Twitter account. He will remain the lead play-by-play commentator for Showtime boxing.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly quoted the Deadspin article, stating Hennigan said he took Roberts passport, when he's actually quoted in the article stating he didn't.