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Ex-WWE star and and reality tv show winner Sara Lee dies aged 30
7 October 2022, 11:03 | Updated: 7 October 2022, 11:45
Wrestling stars have paid tribute to the winner of a WWE reality show who has died at the age of 30.
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Sara Lee won Tough Enough - an elimination-style programme to find new talent to join WWE - in 2015. Before joining the competition she was a power lifter, and studying to be an ultrasound technician.
The competition winner received the prize of a $250,000 one-year contract with WWE, but was released the following year.
"We are all in shock and arrangements are not complete," her mother, Terri Lee, said in part in a social media post. "We ask that you respectfully let our family mourn. We all need prayers especially Cory and her children."
The cause of death was not provided.
The 30-year-old was a mother of three children and married to former WWE wrestler Cory James Weston, known as Westin Blake.
In her final post on Instagram earlier this week, she noted that she had been struggling with her 'first ever' sinus infection.
Wrestling star Saraya, formerly known as Paige, was among those to pay tribute to Sara, describing her as a "very sweet human who I got the pleasure to know and work with".
This is heartbreakingly tragic. Sending love to her family. Very sweet human who I got the pleasure to know and work with. 💔 RIP Sara Lee pic.twitter.com/bGZ9FZNnXj— SARAYA (@Saraya) October 6, 2022
Impact star Chelsea Green said she would remember her friend as "laughing, smiling" and "carefree".
No tweet or amount of words can bring back this beautiful human, but all of my heart goes out to @TheWestinBlake & their family. Sara Lee will be missed greatly. ♥️— CHELSEA GREEN (@ImChelseaGreen) October 6, 2022
The photo on the left is how I will always remember her - laughing, smiling, carefree. pic.twitter.com/XLlLFXDOcF
Fellow wrestler Bull James launched a GoFundMe campaign in aid of Sara's family. The campaign quickly hit its $20,000 target - raising almost three times that amount in 10 hours.
Tough Enough ran until 2015, and followed the fortunes of 13 WWE hopefuls as they competed for a place on the company's roster.
At the end of each season, a male and female winner were chosen and were awarded a WWE contract.