Vince McMahon’s highway again to his seat as World Wrestling Entertainment’s chairman and CEO simply obtained much more treacherous because of extra allegations of hush funds, ballooning the whole doled out to greater than $12 million over the past 20 years. These massive alleged transactions had been to cowl alleged infidelity and sexual misconduct.
In response to a Wall Street Journal report, 4 girls, all of whom used to work for WWE, and subsequently the McMahon household, allegedly signed agreements with McMahon that “prohibit them from discussing potential authorized claims towards, or their relationships” with him. The original WSJ report on McMahon and fellow WWE government John Laurinaitis paying hush cash for previous alleged relationships got here out June 15 and compelled McMahon to step down from his company duties, not his head of artistic function, the place he provides the ultimate say on storylines and matches.
The 76-year-old’s largest alleged settlement is a $7.5 million fee to a former wrestler who claims McMahon coerced her into performing oral intercourse on him earlier than a subsequent demotion. In response to this former wrester, McMahon demoted her after which later declined to resume her contract with WWE in 2005 after resisting additional sexual encounters. The unnamed wrestler and her legal professional allegedly went to McMahon in 2018 to barter the fee for silence.
Additionally launched as a part of Friday’s report was an alleged 2008 non-disclosure settlement from a former firm contractor, who introduced WWE with unsolicited nude images of McMahon she allegedly acquired from him. She allegedly informed folks inside the firm to not solely have acquired the images from McMahon, however that he allegedly sexually harassed her on the job. McMahon allegedly paid her round $1 million to stay quiet.
A 2006 settlement was additionally allegedly made with a former supervisor, who labored for WWE for a decade earlier than McMahon initiated a sexual relationship together with her. She was additionally allegedly paid $1 million for her silence. The original hush payment to become public was a $3 million pact made this January between McMahon and a former firm paralegal for a consensual sexual relationship.
The WWE Board of Administrators is investigating McMahon’s settlement with the paralegal and the 2018 cope with the wrestler, per WSJ. In response to the Journal, the board can also be investigating an alleged sexual relationship between Laurinaitis’ and the identical former firm paralegal, and allegations of a $1.5 million NDA paid to a different WWE worker in 2012.
Laurinaitis, higher referred to as Johnny Ace, was WWE’s head of expertise relations for a number of years earlier than stepping down in 2012, taking a lesser function within the firm. That’s the identical yr because the alleged NDA. McMahon had re-promoted him to the function final yr, however Laurinaitis, who was additionally an occasional on-screen performer, is at present on administrative depart from the corporate, per WSJ.
McMahon has but to remark publicly on the inquiry into him or Laurinaitis, however WWE has acknowledged it’s cooperating with the board’s inquiry
The investigation into McMahon and Laurinaitis has given second thought to the motives behind the depart of absence from the corporate by Stephanie McMahon, Vince’s daughter and fellow WWE government. She briefly departed WWE in Might in what was described as one hundred pc her personal choice, however returned to the household enterprise as the corporate’s interim CEO and chairwoman.
The nepotism indicators Vince beforehand had no intentions to completely depart or promote WWE. In response to a report from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Publication, Vince’s household isn’t implicated within the investigation. Stephanie’s former place on WWE’s Board of Administrators did imply she would’ve had details about the investigation earlier than her hiatus started.
McMahon booked himself to appear on WWE tv a number of occasions after the primary allegations had been made public in a tone-deaf transfer to get a constructive response from the group — the viewers normally pops for his “No Probability in Hell” theme track and his ridiculous strut to the ring — regardless of his embattled standing with the corporate. A number of on-line reviews additionally indicated a company-wide backstage assembly earlier than WWE’s newest pay-per-view occasion, Cash within the Financial institution, led by Stephanie, to debate the way forward for the corporate. Each McMahons, in addition to Triple H, Stephanie’s husband and a 14-time WWE world champion, had been seen ringside at a UFC pay-per-view later that night.
Any additional WWE succession plans will even doubtless contain president Nick Khan, who has no relation to All Elite Wrestling CEO Tony Khan. WWE’s Khan took over most of Stephanie’s duties after her interim depart of absence. He’s been an influential determine behind the scenes for WWE since his hiring in August 2020.