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By Mike Johnson on 2022-08-29 20:27:00

Former WWE NXT star Patrick Clark aka The Velveteen Dream during his WWE NXT run was arrested on 8/26 for an out of county warrant for "possession of drug paraphernalia"  in Florida.  He is currently listed as incarcerated at Orange County Jail in Orlando.  The details behind the original warrant and the circumstances of Clark's arrest are not yet clear.

Clark, 26, last wrestled for WWE NXT in December 2020 and was officially released in May 2021.   He was originally signed by WWE after being eliminated from the 2015 Tough Enough reality series season where he obviously showed the most passion for pro wrestling out of any of the contestants, but was still voted off the show.  After a big push from WWE Hall of Famer Lita, WWE hired Clark, sending him to WWE NXT later that year.

Clark eventually debuted as The Velveteen Dream in 2017, a character obviously inspired in part by the late, great musician Prince and at the time, he went to great lengths to remain in character as much as possible when in the public eye.  He quickly rose to prominence in NXT with a tremendous series of performances, looking every bit like a future Wrestlemania main event player.  His work in the ring, nor his flair for performing, was ever in question.

That momentum sputtered, stalled and died after online allegations of Clark allegedly sending indecent images to underage boys through social media, a story that lit up after a Reddit user began posting screenshots and audio.   Clark responded at the time, "Be assured I did not communicate inappropriately with anyone. A private photo of mine was shared without my consent or knowledge and I am working with a third party to look into this matter."

In speaking about the situation in August 2020 to CBS Sports, WWE's Paul Levesque commented, "You know, in this day today, accusations are made and you take them all very seriously. You look into them the best you can, and you find out what is there and what isn’t. In this situation, [Clark] was also involved in a car accident. That’s what took him off TV. In the moment, all this other stuff happens and you look into it and you find that there is a situation that people bring to everyone’s attention, you look into it and find that it is what it is and there’s nothing there.  Everything that we have done, we are comfortable with him continuing to do what he does and everything else. But he had a car accident. It stemmed down to people thought we removed him from TV for different reasons. We didn’t. He was in a car accident.  Once he was medically cleared to be able to return to the ring from his car accident, we continued forward the way we did. We looked into what was there and we didn’t find anything.”

While WWE looked into the allegations but found no cause for action, the situation never went away.  Levesque was asked about the situation numerous times during NXT media calls to the point he made it clear he would no longer address the issue.  At the same time, anti-Velveteen Dream trends exploded on social media, especially Twitter, whenever Clark did appear on television.

After his WWE  release, Clark issued the following statement via his Instagram stories:

The allegations from April 20, 2020 has effectively detailed 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 the 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 The Velveteen Dream: A Sexually Ambiguous, Gender Fluid, Self Absorbed Diva.  And as I learned more about Prince, I began to tame certain aspects of the character.  Aspects that I deemed way to (sic) over the tip and inconsistent with who Prince was as a performer.  Now before I unpack, I will say I 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 to 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 (sic), 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 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 Jacob, before he deleted it.

In the conversation Jacob 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 Promos to start.  Physique, because as an independent contractor no one is going to make you train or 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.

Jacob 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 Jacob his height, weight, where he trained and what school he attended.  Which Jacob 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 I didn’t have with Jacob.  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 Jacob, 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 towards him.  For those willing to research Josh’s tweet accusing me; Josh’s messages are in blue and mine are in grey.  Josh claimed that he was a 16 year old high school graduate and that he takes “yearly trips” with his friends 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 had 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 Jacob 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 Jacob 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 (sic) deleted his social media after he was outed for being a member of an anti-black group chat.

-There is a public forum, wwe lpsg 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 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


Clark has not wrestled since his WWE release.


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