Late last week, WWE wrestler Jeff Hardy was arrested in Moore County, North Carolina, for driving while impaired. At the time, the Moore County Police Department would not reveal what the official charge would be, but they did say that Hardy had been released as of 11:30 p.m. local time. This is not the first time that Hardy has been arrested due to a substance abuse issue, and WWE has responded with a very brief statement.
"Jeff Hardy is responsible for his own personal actions."
As many noticed, this statement is the exact same response that WWE has given after previous arrests. While it's unwise to read too much into such a brief sentence, it does appear that WWE is keeping out of this situation and could be unlikely to levy a punishment.
This news caught many on social media by surprise. The prevailing hope was that Hardy's arrest would lead to WWE stepping in and either cutting ties with him or convincing him to get treatment. Neither outcome has been the case, and it's entirely possible that the status quo will remain.
In 2003, WWE released Hardy after he refused rehabilitation. Bruce Prichard, a long-time WWE backstage official, explained the previous decision to fire him on his WWE Network show, Something Else to Wrestle.
“Jeff did have a drug problem, and everything that you just said was taking place," Prichard recalled. "All of a sudden, we had a different human being on our hands, and it wasn’t someone that anyone really liked to work with anymore. If he did show up, he would go on high, and you couldn’t find him all day long, or he’d show up and then leave again."
This behavior led to WWE giving Hardy an ultimatum. Either he would go to rehab, or he would no longer be employed.
“It was difficult times being with Jeff Hardy," Prichard continued. "Jeff had a drug issue — Jeff admitted having a drug issue — but Jeff didn’t want to go to rehab. The condition was 'Jeff you have to go to rehab or we’ve got to let you go.' And they released him because he refused to go to rehab. In my opinion, Jeff had a drug problem. Jeff had a lot of issues going on and wasn’t handling them well.”
In addition to this statement, Hardy's brother, Matt, has also responded to the arrest in North Carolina. The partner in the Hardy Boyz said that he loves his brother and wants him to be healthy. However, the decisions made that result in these arrests are made solely by his brother.
"Since so many have asked me about my brother tonight-I love my brother & want him to be happy & healthy," Matt wrote on Twitter. "I’ve expressed that to him as much as I can. Jeff has to make his decisions about his life.
"I have to focus on my 2 boys & soon to arrive son. I can only control MY actions."