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Exclusive! Debra Marshall, Ex-wife of Stone Cold Steve Austin Tells What Really Goes on in Pro-Wrestling World

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," June 28, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Details in the investigation into Chris Benoit's murder-suicide continue to emerge, but much of the focus remains on the wrestler's alleged steroid use, as well as the violent culture of the WWE.

The ex-wife of wrestling superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin wants to shed light on that world and the steroid abuse, and rampant domestic violence that she says she survived, and that Nancy Benoit did not.

Joining us now is Stone Cold Steven Austin's ex-wife. Debra Marshall is with us. She's also a former, by the way, WWE wrestler herself.

This has now become the question whether or not this is what they call "roid rage." Now, I know they invaded the home of this guy. They investigated there. Anabolic steroids, in fact, were found. They went to the doctor's office today.

How rampant is the use of steroids from what you saw in your years being married to your husband?

DEBRA MARSHALL, FORMER WWE WRESTLER: You know, what I can say is what I know from being married to Steve Austin, and he definitely told me he used them. And I've actually seen him do that before.

If you think about it, look at the record. Look at the record of how many wrestlers — the record pretty much tells it all. I mean, 60 wrestlers have died in 10 years under the age of 45, and how many had enlarged hearts and all that? I mean, it is just so sad, because something's got to be done. And it's so...

HANNITY: But let me ask you this, and I agree with you.

MARSHALL: Sure.

HANNITY: But I think it's fairly transparent, at least to me — this is not a surprise. Here is the question. Did you see this violent behavior? Is it something that maybe other wives of other wrestlers discussed with you on a fairly regular basis?

MARSHALL: No. I tell you what. Because in this business, it's a very hush-hush kind of business, and especially me, being a wrestler and in the business, you are sort of — a code of silence. You don't talk about this kind of stuff.

And for me to talk about it now — you know, I never talked about my domestic abuse with Steve Austin, having him arrested, and it's something you just don't do.

HANNITY: Was your husband violent? And do you attribute it to the use of steroids?

MARSHALL: I tell you what. I know it was — contributed to the use of steroids, because I have seen the steroid rages. I have seen him being paranoid. I have seen his panic attacks. I mean, for three times, I'd seen him attack me — I mean, and at work people would know it, and they would cover the bruises on my face.

HANNITY: But based on what you witnessed, and maybe the few people that you did confide in or did speak to, even though you're saying that there is this code of silence, do you believe that it was so dramatic that it could push somebody, or contribute to somebody being involved in what we see in this case?

MARSHALL: Absolutely. I tell you what. The last time — and I've never talked about this. The last time Steve attacked me, alcohol was involved. He jumped on me. He's on my back with his knee in my back, pounding me in the back and in my face. I thought I was going to die.

And then, I can totally understand what Nancy must have felt in the last few seconds of her life, because I thought I was going to die.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Debra, it's Alan. I've read that you at times would even show up for work with bruises. Is that true?

MARSHALL: That is true.

COLMES: Did anybody say anything?

MARSHALL: No, they're not going to rat on the top money-maker in wrestling. And everyone else knew this was going on, but no one's going to stop it, because Steve would make millions of dollars for Vince. And I...

COLMES: Well, you're saying that people — go ahead.

MARSHALL: Well, I just knew, when this happened to Nancy and her little 7-year-old boy, I knew then I had to speak up, because maybe if I had spoken up years ago when this happened to me, then I could have saved Nancy and this little child.

COLMES: But the amazing thing is, and it's good that this is now seeing the light of day to some extent in that you're now saying that this has been going on. It's been going on for a long time.

People in the WWE knew about it, and there's this giant cover-up, in spite of the fact that people were aware of severe domestic abuse.

MARSHALL: It is aware, and you know what? The wrestlers to the WWE were nothing but tools. You know, we're money-makers and then, you know what? The people that make the most money, you don't want bad publicity on them, because they're the ones that sell the T-shirts. They're the one that makes the money. They're the one that makes the draw.

And then like for me to have Stone Cold Steve Austin arrested? Oh my gosh, they so hush-hushed that — put it under the table. They put a gag on me for a year that I couldn't talk about this, because they knew that I could totally bring down their top star.

COLMES: The WWE yesterday issued a statement, saying that the Benoit murders were acts of deliberation and so could not be linked to "roid rage." What do you make of the WWE's statement?

MARSHALL: You know what I think in my opinion? They're excellent at deflecting the heat on them, and I think they're deflecting the heat, and they're trying to insert some kind of other stories to make people — to get away from the steroid rage.

And I know a fact. When Steve Austin was pounding on me that last time with his steroid rage, pounding on me, his eyes were bugging out of his head, and it was a rage like the most horrifying thing you've ever seen.

And when I called the cops, he ran out the door, yanked the phone lines out, unplugged the garage door openers, yanked the wires out so I couldn't leave. So there's a very similar reaction to all this.

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