An investigation has been launched by World Wrestling Entertainment against their own CEO, Vince McMahon over an alleged $3 million hush-money settlement that he paid an ex-female employee he reportedly had an affair with.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that a settlement was reached in January with the woman, who was hired as a paralegal for WWE in 2019, which prevented her from speaking about the supposed relationship with McMahon or making any critical statements about the 76-year-old wrestling promoter.
According to WSJ’s report, the board’s investigation also revealed several nondisclosure pacts related to other misconduct claims from other women who had also worked at WWE. These agreements related not just to McMahon but also WWE’s talent executive John Laurinaitis, also known as Johnny Ace.
The preliminary findings of the board’s investigation found that McMahon used his personal funds to reach the agreement with the employee. WWE’s board only learned about these payments after they received a series of anonymous emails from someone claiming to be a friend of the woman involved in the alleged affair.
One note in the emails claims that McMahon increased the woman’s salary from $100,000 to $200,000 after he began a sexual relationship with her but eventually “gave her like a toy” to Laurinaitis.
A quote from the email reportedly states: “My friend was so scared so she quit after Vince McMahon and lawyer Jerry [McDevitt] paid her millions of dollars to shut up.”
A spokesperson for WWE said that the company is cooperating fully with the board inquiry and that the relationship with the ex-paralegal was consensual and that are treating the accusations seriously and in an appropriate manner.
McMahon’s lawyer McDevitt told WSJ that the ex-employee didn’t make any harassment claims against McMahon and that “WWE did not pay any monies” to her “upon her departure.”
Vince McMahon is married to Linda McMahon, a former employee of the Donald Trump White House administration. His daughter Stephanie McMahon is currently on a ‘leave of absence” from her role as the chief brand officer. Her husband Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque is currently the WWE’s executive vice president for Global Talent Strategy & Development.
source: The indy100