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Former pro wrestler Nicole Bass dead at 52

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 2/17/2017 Josh Barnett

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Nicole Bass, who parlayed her unique look and fame from the Howard Stern show into a brief pro wrestling career, has died, according to a post by a friend on Bass’ Facebook page. She was 52.

Bass had been dealing with health and financial issues in the last several years along with the death of her husband.

“A few days ago Nicole got very sick,” her friend Kristen Marrone posted on Bass’ Facebook page Thursday night. “She was brought into the hospital and they did everything they could to help her. I have been sitting here with her in the room 24/7 since she got here making sure she was being given the best possible care. Today we learned that there is nothing else that can be done.” Nicole Bass seen during Howard Stern and his Crew Invade Union Square to Promote Sirius Satellite Radio at Union Square in New York City, 2004 © Derek Storm/FilmMagic Nicole Bass seen during Howard Stern and his Crew Invade Union Square to Promote Sirius Satellite Radio at Union Square in New York City, 2004

Bass was a bodybuilder in the 1990s and her physical size and deep voice made her part of a long-standing routine on the Stern show in which he questioned whether she was a woman.

She spent a few months in ECW, serving as a bodyguard for Justin Credible, and was signed by the then-WWF during The Attitude Era as a surprise for WrestleMania XX in Philadelphia. Her role was to be Sable’s bodyguard. She was released after several months.

After her release, she sued WWF for $120 million, alleging that she was wrongly terminated, that she had been sexually assaulted by another performer during travel to an event in England and that the company discriminated against women by paying them less than men. The company and the performer denied the allegations. After a three-week trial, a New York City jury ruled for the WWF in 2002. In Memoriam 2017: Stars We've Lost This Year

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