By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Former WWE wrestler Patrick “Velveteen Dream” Clark issued the following statement via his Instagram Page.
“The allegations from April 20 2020 have effectively derailed any upward momentum I had professionally. And has ultimately resulted in my termination with WWE. My name is Patrick Clark, not the Velveteen Dream. Velveteen Dream is a character that I have spent years developing and trying to bring to life. The success of the Dream character, relied heavily on kayfabe, my ability to blur Patrick Clark from Tough Enough with this over the top personality.
“The character was conceptualized the day Prince passed, April 21 2016. I knew nothing about him at that time, but my thinking was that I could use my interpretation of Prince to create an onscreen personality vastly different from who I am as a person. *Cue Velveteen Dream: A Sexually Ambiguous, Gender Fluid, Self Absorbed Divo. And as I learned more about Prince I began to tame certain aspects of the character. Aspects that I deemed way to over the top and inconsistent with who Prince was as a performer. Now before I unpack, I will say, I’ve enjoyed the many stories I’ve been able to share on camera and I’m grateful to the many people who trusted me with their safety and wellness.
“Thank you to any and everybody who enjoyed and allowed me to be my character, whether you paid a ticket or walked up on me in Walmart. My goal was to provide you with the same escape that I was offered when I first started watching. My job was to play a character and to help advance storylines and drama for the fans who cared to tune in. I take any job I have seriously, which is why I’ve remained silent about these allegations. To me addressing rumors would be working against an already compromised ability to sell a character I’ve invested in so heavily. After I had been accused, I was given the opportunity to be in a storyline that lasted a few months and I worked in a few segments unrelated to the story arch, but now I feel comfortable in this position to share with you the details of my accusations.
“The night of April 20th, from my verified instagram account I posted a story to my followers letting them know that my DMs had been open. I received a few different messages ranging from support, to heckling, and some inquiring about how to get started in pro wrestling. I responded to a few, but not all, and of the few I responded to one account accused me of solicitation. The account belonged to a 17 year old aspiring wrestler Jaccob, before he deleted it. In the conversation Jaccob shared his interest in working as a wrestler one day and asked what steps would be required. I messaged a short list of things he should consider if he was serious: Physique and Promo to start. Physique, because as an independent contractor no one is going to make you train and eat in a way that creates the aesthetic of a believable pro wrestler. And Promo because our job is to sell drama, and you can’t rely on someone flipping channels to stop to watch a choreographed fight, you’re more likely to grab their attention looking into a camera with a strong and impassioned 30 second monologue. I also inquired about which schools he was closest to in relation to wrestling training, his weight, and his height.
“Jaccob explained how anxious he felt messaging me and asked me to verify that it was really me. I did find it strange, because I have a blue check, but as a lifelong fan I remember meet and greets and the days I would message wrestlers hoping to be seen, so I chalked it up to innocence and sent a voice message in my Velveteen Dream voice, as to keep kayfabe. The full voice message has me asking Jaccob about his height, weight, where he trained, and what school he attended. Which Jaccob answered back with a voice message and I continued to answer his questions until I politely wrapped up the conversation. April 21st I woke up to notifications and tags of created screenshots and videos of a conversation that I didn’t have with Jaccob. I immediately contacted WWE’s talent relations and social media departments as to begin an investigation. Even after the investigation, WWE released a statement maintaining my innocence. The part that hurt for me was having a personal picture that I’ve used in my personal life, on apps, being used to label me as a predator. I am in no way of the word a predator. This is the first and only time I’ve been accused of any solicitation to anyone.
“Until I was accused of grooming by Joshua Fuller, unlike Jaccob, I know Josh. I met Josh after my stint on Tough Enough (2015) at a meet and greet. And we developed a friendship through a mutual trainer at GXW. Josh shared to twitter screenshots of the first time we communicated through text(2016), an autographed picture from when we met, and an extremely contradictory story. Josh alleged that I made him feel uncomfortable but contradicts himself twice by saying I was never sexual toward him. For those willing to research Josh’s tweet accusing me; Josh’s messages are in blue and mine in grey. Josh claimed that he was a 16 year old high school graduate and that he takes ‘yearly trips’ with his friend to Orlando, FL. I doubted what he told me, yet I kept my replies diplomatic and professional. The reality of the situation is that I was very helpful and respectful to Josh. Josh lives with his grandparents in rural southern Maryland. Josh got a concussion (2017) and against my advice, insisted on wrestling. My worry came from Josh severely injuring himself, specifically his brain. I suggested he take time off from training to see a doctor. He declined because he believed he could work through the concussion, and I cut all communication with him in 2018 because I didn’t want to be partially responsible had he worsened his injury. So to have him accuse me of predatory behavior because I chose not to help was spiteful.
“Josh and Jaccob are 2 of MANY people that I’ve helped. Yet these are the only two who have found me to be malicious and predatory in how I go about helping others. What wasn’t shared at the time
– Josh Fuller reached out to Jaccob over social media before Josh put out his own accusation. When this came out Josh Fuller temporarily deleted his twitter account @joshfullerpw
– Which is important because in all the social media confusion, Josh Fuller is the only one who suggested that an investigation had not been done and that he had not been contacted.
– Jaccob deleted his social media after he was outed for being a member of an anti-black group chat.
– There is a public forum, wwe Ipsg stars where people are buying selling and sharing explicit photos and videos of multiple wrestlers and no one has done anything to have this site taken down.
“All in all this entire experience defamed my character and ultimately accomplished what it sought out to do and that was to see me released. My hope is that over time people can put 2 and 2 together and realize that all the allegations surrounding me were baseless and untrue from jump. I felt strongly about not needing to defend myself on social media for a while now, but I understand the audience I work for and those who know me deserve clarity. I’m thankful for the opportunities afforded to me and the memories I have as a receipt. GOD HAS ALWAYS HAD ME AND HE ALWAYS WILL. DREAM IS OFFICIALLY OVER
“BUT Patrick Clark LIVES TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY.”
Powell’s POV: Clark deserves to have his side of the story out there, but it still leaves a number of questions left unanswered. Clark claimed to have “cut all communication” with Fuller in 2018, yet he issued a tweet in April 2019 requesting that Fuller call him back. He also never explained how the “personal picture” ended up online aside from saying there is a website that sells such photos. If this was all multiple misunderstandings, then why didn’t Clark or WWE officials address the situation publicly until now? Why did WWE pull Clark from television for several months? Why did WWE release him from his contract last week if he’s not guilty of any wrongdoing? Perhaps there are answers to these questions that would help Clark in the court of public opinion, but it’s impossible to know unless he chooses to answer them.