Embattled former WWE chief executive Vince McMahon is back in the news — and again, for all the wrong reasons.
As we’ve been reporting, the 76-year-old pro wrestling visionary and business executive stepped back from his executive role last month after a report in the Wall Street Journal alleged he had agreed to pay a secret $3 million settlement to a former employee with whom he’d had an affair. But the scandal is apparently FOUR TIMES bigger than anyone thought!
The WSJ is back again this week with a damning new report that goes way deeper… and contains significant accusations of sexual misconduct involving multiple other women — including a wrestler!
On Friday morning, the NYC-based outlet reported that Vince paid more than $12 million as “hush money” to four total women in order to “cover up allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity.” The money was reportedly paid to the various women at different times over the last 16 years — and includes the $3 million payment previously uncovered.
Per the report, the women — all of whom were “involved” in various ways with the WWE, the outlet notes — signed binding contractual agreements to stay quiet:
“[The contracts] prohibit them from discussing potential legal claims against or their relationships with the 76-year-old executive.”
Even with the existence of those non-disclosure agreements, some of the details that made their way to the WSJ are alarming, to say the least. In addition to the already-documented $3 million payment handed out to the former employee, there were three other shocking new allegations.
In one instance, back in 2006, a former manager in the firm alleged McMahon “initiated a sexual relationship” with her after she had spent more than a decade at the company. She was allegedly paid $1 million “for her silence” in the case. Then, in 2008, McMahon allegedly paid $1 million to another WWE contract employee after she “presented evidence of unsolicited nude photos of McMahon” in a sexual harassment dispute.
Most shockingly, McMahon apparently paid an ex-wrestler (!!!) $7.5 million back in 2018. Years earlier, she alleged, he had “coerced” her into performing oral sex on him. After that reported act, he allegedly demoted her, and later decided not to renew her contract with the wrestling company back in 2005 after she “rejected further encounters.” Wow…
After the initial report came out last month, McMahon stepped back from his executive role with the WWE. His daughter, Stephanie McMahon, replaced him as interim CEO. In addition to backing down while the company’s board continues to investigate, the elder McMahon released a statement to the media in June which read in part:
“I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation. I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are.”
FWIW, McMahon still retains creative control of the WWE’s on-air product.
He’s also appeared at public events several times since the shocking allegations first hit last month, including at a Smackdown event just a few days after the report was first published.
[Image via WWE/YouTube]