The head of a near-monopoly pro wrestling company World Wrestling TournamentVince McMahon, is under investigation for allegedly making a $3 million settlement with a former WWE employee with whom he had an affair.
According to a report from The Wall Street JournalCiting people familiar with the WWE board investigation, the employee left and McMahon had a consensual sexual relationship that led to the creation of a separation agreement in January 2022. allowed the former WWE legal entity to discuss her relationship with McMahon and prevent her from “disparaging him.”
The investigation into the large payout began in April and led to the discovery of other non-disclosure agreements signed by former WWE employees related to McMahon’s misconduct, as well as the Division Chief. WWE talent relations John Laurinaitis. The WSJ did not provide how many NDAs were found as part of the investigation. An outside consultant has determined that payments from Laurinaitis and McMahon from NDAs are in the millions of dollars, and investigators are still gathering more information about them. Laurinaitis is also known by the nickname Johnny Ace.
New York-based law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is conducting the investigation. The WWE Board of Directors discovered McMahon had used his own funds to pay for his concealment deals and one involving Laurinaitis. The investigation is also looking into WWE’s human resource programs, as well as compliance and the company’s culture.
WWE has been the largest wrestling company in the world since McMahon tried to solidify the industry in the early 1980s. He has been the company’s top official since 1982. A spokesperson for the company told the WSJ that WWE is “cooperating fully with the board’s investigation.” The spokesperson added that “the company takes the allegations seriously and is addressing them appropriately.”
Vince McMahon is the only member of his family to have an active executive role at WWE, with son, Shane McMahon, no longer employed by the company and daughter, Stephanie McMahon, leaving WWE in May Stephanie is married to longtime WWE performer Triple H, who retired from the ring earlier this year. Vince’s wife, Linda McMahon, remains a minority owner in WWE but has not held an executive role of the company since 2009.
Vince’s on-camera character, Mr. McMahon, has portrayed a promiscuous person for many years. McMahon’s antics include having a close relationship with younger female talent. If the allegations are proven true, it is unlikely that McMahon will not be forced to sell the company and resign. Laurinaitis has no chance remaining with WWE after this discovery. He’s been with McMahon since 2001, when the World Championship Wrestling Championship ended.