WWE superstar Matt Riddle is acknowledging he had an affair with pro wrestler Candy Cartwright -- but adamantly denies her sexual assault allegations in a new video.
"I’m gonna make this quick. I have never in my entire life sexually assaulted a man, woman or anybody," Riddle said ... "And that includes Samantha Tavel (aka Candy Cartwright). I never sexually assaulted you."
As we previously reported, Cartwright -- a pro wrestler on the indy circuit -- claimed Riddle forced her to perform oral sex on him during a 2018 van ride with other wrestlers.
Riddle says the allegations are BS.
"The story about that van trip, and the driver being asleep, and me forcing you to do stuff and hop on whatever is a complete lie. It’s a fabricated story because you’re still mad."
Riddle says Cartwright is upset because "we had an affair" -- which he then broke off.
"It’s embarrassing because I feel like a real piece of crap cheating on my wife and doing that, and now having to talk about it publicly."
"We had a relationship. We had a fling. I started to get sad and depressed because I was lying to my wife so much to hide what I was doing. I was lying to all my friends because I didn’t want anybody to know, because it’s not something cool. I didn’t want to brag about it. I tried to end it."
"I told my wife about you and us. I tried to end it. I blocked you, I blocked your social media."
Riddle claims Cartwright tried to continue the relationship despite his efforts to stop it -- and claims she couldn't handle the rejection so she made-up allegations about him.
"At the end of the day, I’m not perfect. I did have an affair, and I’m not happy about it. But, I never sexually abused anybody, I never sexually assaulted anybody. And when I wanted to get out of this relationship, out of this situation, she said no and she kept pursuing me and harassing me and stalking me. And then, when she didn’t get her way, she used the Speak Out movement to try to ruin my career."
Still unclear if Cartwright ever went to police with the allegations. She has previously said she was inspired to speak out by other "brave women" who have come forward about sexual misconduct claims.