Here's the situation:
We have one particular player who is very new to the system and very shy. He enjoys playing, though, and we were all thrilled when we had his character's release party in game last month. We rented a nice banquet hall in a swanky hotel for it and everything -- it was much fun.
Anyway, did I mention that this guy is pretty shy? He is. Painfully so. It's taking a long time to get him to feel comfortable, and we're not quite there yet, but he's a very gentle and kind soul and everyone likes him.
I got an email from one of his friends who also plays in the game, wherin her character makes preparations for taking over his character's assets, and makes some stupidly cryptic OOC comments about him not continuing the game, although she doesn't elaborate because "it's not her place to say."
Dreading impending drama, I email the shy player and ask him outright what his friend was on about, if he's not enjoying the game and if there's anything we can do to help turn that around, or if it's real life stuff or what.
I just got a reply. Apparently, his ex-roommate is planning on joining the game (we're pulling a big recruitment drive this month and are expecting a whole lot of new players). He says he loves the game and really enjoys it and wants to continue playing, but this ex-roommate of his has told him that his character will die instantly the moment she joins the game, and because he's a new player nobody will care ("new player" meaning he's not comfortable with the system yet and has only now been released; he's actually been playing in the game for close to ten months now). He said there will be problems if she joins the game.
Now here's my dilemma: I hate the thought of a player feeling like he was chased out of a game he enjoys because of the asshattery of another player. I also hate the thought of not allowing a new player to join (one I've never even met before) on the strength of rumor and hearsay.
I want to protect my established player, but I also don't want to get off on an aggressive or antagonistic foot with someone I've never met before.
Any ideas on how I should handle this?