Vince McMahon is making headlines again related to an ongoing investigation of alleged sexual misconduct and infidelity involving four former WWE employees that resulted in reportedly millions of dollars of hush money.
A report from The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) says that McMahon allegedly paid $12 million over the past 16 years to these four women, one of which was a wrestler.
“The previously unreported settlements include a $7.5 million pact with a former wrestler who alleged that Mr. McMahon coerced her into giving him oral sex and then demoted her and, ultimately, declined to renew her contract in 2005 after she resisted further sexual encounters, according to people familiar with the matter,” WSJ reports. “The wrestler and her attorney approached Mr. McMahon in 2018 and negotiated the payment in return for her silence, the people said.”
Other reported agreements included the following:
-A 2006 nondisclosure agreement for $1 million dollars to a WWE employee with whom McMahon allegedly tried to initiate “a sexual relationship.” Before this alleged incident, this employee had worked for WWE for 10 years.
-A 2008 nondisclosure agreement for $1 million related to a WWE contractor that alleged McMahon sexually harassed her on the job and showed her unsolicited nude photos of himself.
The fourth woman/settlement was initially reported by WSJ last month that stated McMahon secretly paid a $3 million settlement in January 2022 to a former employee with whom he had an alleged consensual affair.
WSJ reported the WWE board of directors began an investigation into the matter after it received a series of anonymous emails beginning on March 30 from someone who said they were a friend of the former WWE employee who was hired in 2019 as a paralegal. The investigation would go on to discover other, older nondisclosure agreements pertaining to former female WWE employees and alleged misconduct by Mr. McMahon and John Laurinaitis, WWE’s head of talent relations.
WSJ would add in relation to the alleged $3 million settlement, “The first email, sent to board members on March 30, alleged that Mr. McMahon, 76 years old, initially hired the woman at a salary of $100,000 but increased it to $200,000 after beginning a sexual relationship with her. The email to the board also alleged that Mr. McMahon ‘gave her like a toy’ to Mr. Laurinaitis. The board is investigating the allegations in the email, the people familiar with the inquiry said.”
Since the initial WSJ report, Vince McMahon has stepped down as Chairman and CEO of WWE and his daughter, Stephanie McMahon, has been named Chairwoman and CEO of the wrestling giant. However, Vince McMahon maintains his role related to creative content on WWE programming. Vince McMahon is also cooperating with the ongoing investigation from the WWE board of directors.