In recent weeks, Rhea Ripley has openly spoken about her experiences of being harassed for autographs at airports.
The 2023 Royal Rumble winner told USA Insider that she often experiences people approaching her with multiple of the same items to get signed, likely just to sell on eBay.
A recent incident involving one so-called fan who is “notorious” among wrestlers saw her being followed by multiple people as she tried to reach her Uber.
“So I had a fan follow me outside the airport today because I said no to them because I didn’t have the time and it was all of the same stuff they wanted signed.
“It was one fan specifically, he’s notorious, he’s always at the airport getting our signatures and selling them on eBay — we know his face, we know who he is. He was the main instigator, he followed me out and others followed him too and they all followed me as I’m trying to find my Uber.
“So I’m trying to tell them no and they’re all being persistent and I ended up getting lost, I had no idea where my Uber was, and I ended up down the stairs away from everyone else and I’m just surrounded by these five guys and they’re just hassling me. I don’t think people understand how threatening that is. Especially because you don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know these people.”
Now, footage of a clearly exhausted Ripley signing autographs has emerged, and fans are upset that the star felt she had to ask if she could leave at the end of the clip.
Lets end this airport stalking thing with all athletes/celebrities. pic.twitter.com/fmgyWaolH8
— Wrestling News (@WrestlingNewsCo) March 25, 2023
Rhea Ripley has set boundaries on the autographs she will sign
Since the incident with the scalpers detailed above, The Nightmare has set clear boundaries on the type of items she will now sign outside of official events, saying she is happy to take photos with genuine fans and sign those.
“If you’re a genuine fan and you just want a photo with us — we don’t mind taking photos. We love our fans, we love our support, and we love everything about the WWE Universe. If you want a photo, I’m down to take a photo, and I know everyone else is, too.
“If you have a photo of you and us together, I’m going to sign it because that’s a personal thing and I know you’re going to keep that and cherish that, and you’re a true fan, you’re not just trying to make quick money off us while we’re at the airport.”
Rhea Ripley is set to face off against Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 39 with the SmackDown Women’s Championship on the line. It has been reported the clash could be the main event of the first night of the annual spectacular. On the March 17th edition of SmackDown, tensions between the pair came to a head and they brawled in the ring.