The Wall Street Journal has published further charges about Vince McMahon’s alleged sexual transgressions and the money he allegedly spent to cover them up, so he might not be in a good mood tonight at “WWE SmackDown.”
The Journal followed up with a new exposé today that increased the number of women involved to four, at least one of whom was a wrestler, and the amount of money paid out to more than $12 million. The Journal had previously reported on June 15 that McMahon had allegedly paid $3 million in “hush money” to a former paralegal with whom he and John Laurinaitis allegedly had sexual relations.
The wrestler claims that McMahon “coerced her into giving him oral sex,” and that in 2005, as a result of her refusal to have “additional sexual relations,” she was demoted and fired from the organization. McMahon paid her $7.5 million in 2018 to keep quiet about the situation. A former WWE contractor is said to have agreed to a non-disclosure agreement in 2008 and received payment of about $1 million after she “provided the firm with unsolicited nude images of Mr. McMahon she recounted getting from him and stated that he had sexually harassed her on the job.” Additionally, another $1 million payout in 2006 went to “a former manager who had worked for Mr. McMahon for 10 years before he reportedly started a sexual harassment claim,” according to the Journal’s sources.
Since the original charges were made public, McMahon has been the subject of intense scrutiny. According to reports, the WWE board of directors has opened an inquiry into McMahon. He said he was “stepping aside” from his roles as CEO and chairman while the inquiry was continuing, but he would continue to be in charge of his creative responsibilities. Then, McMahon made a number of public appearances, including ones at the most recent UFC 276 bout and on WWE television.
As of June 28, eight law firms are looking into WWE for possible breaches of fiduciary duties to its investors in the wake of the Wall Street Journal’s explosive reporting. In the meantime, New York Magazine published an article on June 27 in which former WWE talent Mario Mancini confirmed old claims that McMahon sexually assaulted WWE’s first female referee, Rita Chatterton, back in the early 1990s.