These days, motherhood is celebrated in WWE, with many of the company’s top female stars having given birth. Becky Lynch received overwhelming support when she announced she’d be vacating the Raw Women’s Championship back in 2020 as she prepared to be a mother to her first child with Seth Rollins and gave birth to her daughter Roux the following December.
Candice LeRae, Lacey Evans, and Ronda Rousey all returned to the company in 2022 after giving birth to their own children, and WWE Hall of Famers Trish Stratus and Beth Phoenix are also mothers.
However, there was a time in the company when having children was frowned upon for a female WWE star. Speaking in a recent interview with Ring the Belle, former Diva Search competitor Joy Giovanni opened up about her experience working for WWE in the mid-2000’s, when motherhood was not viewed as positively in entertainment as there was a belief that it made women “undesirable.”
“Back then, the industry was completely different. The film an television industry and the ‘sports entertainment industry,’ it was highly unacceptable to have children. It wasn’t something that people would out loud tell you just like other types of discrimination but if an agent, if a manager, if a production found out that you have kids, you are undesirable.”
Joy Giovanni Worked In WWE From 2004-2005
Before the Women’s Evolution put more focus on women’s wrestling in WWE, the company employed a number of Diva Searches in order to find female talent. Joy Giovanni participated in the 2004 Diva Search, and after coming in third place, was offered a WWE contract and worked for the company until 2005.
However, the star kept the fact that she was a mother hidden from the company until fellow Diva Search contestant Carmella de Cesare revealed her secret on live television, a revelation that Giovanni said cost her work.
“Carmella in all of her glory was the one that outed me to the entire world that I was a mom. Nobody knew. I got pulled aside by production, by Stephanie McMahon, by everyone you could imagine, and they were like, ‘do you have kids?!’ And I was like ‘Surprise, I do. [awkward thumbs up gesture].
“And the crazy thing is the only reason she knew that is because of that tiny room that we were in, she would hear my personal phone conversations talking to my kids multiple times a day. So, she took it upon herself to bring my out of the parenthood closet. And to be quite honest I actually got dropped by one of my agents because of it.”
Another woman famously involved in Diva Search was Maryse, who met her future husband The Miz when she participated in the 2006 edition of the talent search. Maryse and Miz are parents to two daughters, Monroe and Madison.