Former WWE star Velveteen Dream responds to accusations of being a “pedophile” and “groomer”

As previously noted, former WWE star Velveteen Dream issued a public apology to Triple H and wrestling fans for his behavior in recent years.

Clark did an interview with Chris Van Vliet and discussed the #SpeakingOut accusations that were made against him. Here is a transcript of some of the interview…

Van Vliet: If you don’t wrestle again, you’re going to go down as one of the biggest what ifs.

Clark: I wouldn’t say I’m a what if. I’m a what can and what will be.

Van Vliet: Do you miss wrestling?

Clark: Yeah, I miss it.

Van Vliet: Patrick, you posted this apology video January 2 of this year. I think a lot of people are asking why three years before putting out that video.

Clark: It’s a great question. Three years. I always say that it takes everyone the time that it takes us. Everyone’s got their own process. My process just happened to be three years. I’m in a much better place in my life now, both geographically, mentally, and emotionally, and physically, to be quite honest. And being away from what I’m used to, the city moving away from Orlando, Florida, and just taking time away from professional wrestling to figure out who Patrick Clark is for the first time in his life without pro wrestling in the back of his head. I think that’s what’s given me the three years that I needed to write my wrongs. And you can’t write all the wrongs, but it starts somewhere. And I thought an apology to the victims, to the people who I affected on a personal and professional level, was the way to go.

Van Vliet: You said in that video that you needed to apologize. Why did you feel like you needed to?

Clark: Well, the need to apologize is there because so many different people, like I’m saying, have been affected by this. Those who have had disparaging such negative, nasty comments about me in the public forum, they don’t realize that other people are affected just through the power of the word of the mouth. I apologize to the WWE. WWE is a company. It’s an organization put together, as the tagline goes, to put smiles onto other people’s faces to take them away from their reality and their day to day struggles and negativities. And as the velveteen dream, my character I took that mantle. I took that responsibility to help the WWE in doing that for people. And because of the accusations and allegations levied against me, WWE was no doubt affected. They had to change storylines. They had to figure out a way to fit me in, and they tried to. Up to 14 months after the initial allegations, my coworkers, fellow talent, from the ring announcers, to the men and women who don their capes and their tights and their costumes to come out here and perform. The WWE organization was affected as a whole and by part that affects the WWE fan base, the people who are tuning into, as I said, my apology to escape their reality and not to have to deal with Patrick Clark’s reality and the bs, like I said in the apology, the bs that comes together when you bring immaturity and opportunity and throwing a little high praise in there and you got the mess on my hands.

Van Vliet: You also apologize to Triple H. Yes. You apologize to Shawn Michaels. Why did you feel like it was important to specifically apologize to them?

Clark: So it takes a village. None of us, I’m learning that none of us can do it or have done it on our own. And Triple H, Shawn Michaels, most people may know them as Degeneration X, as a collective, as a story told through the annals of WWE television throughout the years. I know Triple H as my boss, as the man who I go to work for and with to achieve a specific goal. And I know Michaels personally as my coach, as my mentor. Shawn is a man that I’ve attended church with. I’ve sat and shared meals with Shawn before. Shawn has met my parents and my siblings and my family and I, Shawn’s. So there can be chatter regarding whether or not the apology was calculated, if you will, to try to get my job back. I don’t have a job there anymore. I haven’t had a job in three years. I can’t get something back that no longer belongs to me. And secondly, Triple H has put together an awesome product in NXT, and it’s reflective in Raw and SmackDown. And Shawn Michaels, who, to my knowledge, is now carrying the mantle in NXT, he’s just spent so much time and effort into me. I met Shawn and was blessed to be put in this class with many other great talents in about 2017, February of 2017. So, I mean, got released in April of 2021. That’s a four year relationship. That’s like having a principal in high school for four years. I mean, four years. The time under tension, the time that he and Paul, Shawn and Paul invested in me to make me the Velveteen dream and to make me worth a damn to WWE, NXT, tv. They definitely deserve an apology.

Van Vliet: What do you think that people need to know about your life over the last three years to understand where you’re at right now?

Clark: I think it’s important for people to know that there is a separation between the Patrick Clark who I introduced the world to on tough enough from the Velveteen Dream character. There’s a distinct difference between those two. But overall, the last three years of my life, like I said, I’m learning who Patrick Clark is without pro wrestling. The Patrick Clark that I introduced people to in 2015 on tough enough. He was a wrestling smart mark. He was a fan who loved it, always wanted to be right about it, always wanted to be in the know. He wanted to be fan number one. And then when I jumped the barricade, so to speak, and I went from consumer of the wrestling product to provider of the wrestling product, I took elements of Patrick Clark from tough enough to try to create the Velveteen Dream. And when you’re starting out on tv, 2015, I’m 19 years old. 2017 now I’m 21. And I’m the Velveteen Dream up until my departure from the company in 2021, when I’m 25 years old in six years. At such an immature age, it’s a lot being thrown at you. And it’s easy to believe a narrative. If you have people coming to you telling you you’re the hottest things and sliced bread, you’re the next this, you’re the next great that, you’re the prodigal son, so to speak. It’s easy to get swallowed up in all of that and to lose the focus of why I decided to wrestle in the first place. I didn’t do it for fame. I didn’t do it for money. I did it because I love professional wrestling. It provided an escape for me at a very young age when I was figuring out that my stepfather was not my biological father. When I’m losing my grandmother to breast cancer, when I’m grieving and dealing with all these different interpersonal experiences, it’s difficult to find out who you are. Especially when you can just run the pro wrestling at the end of the day and just be done with everything. Patrick Clark, now, today is way different than that. I grew up in DC, spent my early twentys in Orlando, Florida with WWE. I was new to the money. I was new to the success. I was new to the world. And three years down the road, here we are, 2024. That’s no longer new to me. I’ve traveled in multiple continents and countries. I’ve been blessed to see my face on billboards, on little pay per view chairs, to see merchandise, people. I know the support is not unfamiliar like it once was. I realize that this is support that I get from outside voices, from outside energies and people. It’s more than just hearing the good. You got to hear the good and hear the bad. And at the end of the day, I’ve learned that it’s all human. That’s how we’re interconnected. And I’m taking the time it’s taken me to become a decent, a good human being, to earn my wings.

Van Vliet: You didn’t talk at all in that video, and you haven’t spoken at all in the last three years about these allegations against you. Why not? Why not address them?

Clark: Well, one, I thought common sense would address most of it, but as a lot of us know out there, common sense is not so common. The allegations levied against me, two very harsh ones, involved inappropriate communications with minors. And so we don’t narrow this thing down. That’s anyone who is not of legal age. I’ll assume 18 years or younger, who is not considered a legal adult, and you’re having inappropriate communications with them, and that’s either to solicit something from them or you just don’t have positive thoughts. The person trying to do those things, they’re not pure of heart.

Van Vliet: You were called a groomer.

Clark: Yeah, a groomer. That wasn’t all I was called. I’ve been called a pedophile. I’ve been called pedo, nonce. Very hurtful and damaging titles to give a person. I didn’t earn that. I don’t have a history of malicious acts toward anyone. I never have. Everyone’s got a past. Everyone’s got lessons that they learn from and that they grow through. Everyone’s got a past. Not everyone has a history, and a history is a repeated behavior, repeated offenses, over and over and over again. And I’ve never, ever had a history. I’ve been around my coworkers, children, hell, in my personal life. I did RTC for ten years, and that’s junior reserve officer training Corps. For those who don’t know, I did young marines from the age of eight years old in 2003 up until the age of 18 years old, I’ve been in leadership positions around people drastically younger than me. And that was for that time at 18. I’m guiding youth from eight to 18. At a young age, then. I’ve never in this life or my last life, and I don’t plan on the next life to ever have such maliciousness and malcontent in my heart that I would want to do harm like that to anyone.

Van Vliet: So there’s screenshots of these conversations with a 16 year old, 17 year old. Are these not conversations that you had?

Clark: No, those aren’t conversations that I’ve ever had with anybody, minor or adult. Legal, illegal, consensual, non consensual. Those words, those text, those images that have been pushed out there on the Internet, they’re all false. I actually went and took the liberty to dig up some receipts, some notes, do some research on my own.

The conversation continued…

Van Vliet: I guess there’s people that are going to say, why are you trying to be friends with a 16 year old?

Dream: Yeah, there’s been a lot of people that have said a lot of things. The one thing to be very clear about, it’s not a friendship, it’s a mentorship. I can only akin it to the big brother little brother program. One, if I’m going to help anyone, I’m more inclined to help a male. I’m not a female biologically, or I don’t identify as a female. I don’t understand what it takes to make money in the professional wrestling world as a woman.

Van Vliet: So this is a fan reaching out, saying, I’d like to be a pro wrestler. Is that what this was?

Dream: That’s all it was, okay. That’s all. Any of my contacts, outside of my close friends, anyone that I’ve spoken to, I’m a pretty private person. If I’m speaking to you, it’s nine times out of ten, I’m in a capacity to help you in some sort of way. I tend to do things on my own. Part of growing out of my immaturity was learning that, like I said, it takes a village. You can’t do things alone. And where I thought I was maturing was allowing people who I didn’t know to have communications with me, not realizing the spot that I was in socially, culturally, and a bit politically.

Van Vliet also asked about nude photos of Clark that leaked online…

Clark: So I have a hard time trying to, I look at it as prosecute myself, trying to explain where people have gotten images that a lot of people have, nudes all over the Internet. How they get there, who knows? I’m not here to speculate because speculation can’t do anything but more damage. We’re just throwing more guesses in the air, letting our imaginations run wild. I’m not here to do that. The crimes that I was accused of committing, those are federal crimes. Those are litigious issues. Those are things that people don’t come back from. I have another list.

Van Vliet: It should be pointed out you were never arrested for anything associated with this. I should say you were not charged with anything associated with this.

Clark: No, I’ve never been arrested, never been charged, never had a file a police report.

Later in the interview, Clark discussed the accusations made by Josh Fuller.