WWE Board Probes Secret $3 Million Hush Payment By Vince McMahon: Report
By Jason Hall
June 15, 2022
World Wrestling Entertainment's board is investigating a $3 million hush-money settlement paid by chairman and CEO Vince McMahon to a woman over an alleged affair, according to documents and people familiar with the situation cited in an exclusive report by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday (June 15).
According to the Journal, the agreement was made in January to prevent the woman, a former WWE paralegal, from discussing her relationship with McMahon or making critical statements about him publicly.
A spokesperson for WWE confirmed to the Journal that the company is cooperating with the board's investigation -- which was launched in April -- and that the relationship between the 76-year-old and the former employee was consensual.
McMahon has been married to his wife, Linda -- who served as WWE's president and later CEO from 1980 to 2009 and later as Small Business Administration chief as part of former President Donald Trump's administration from 2017 to 2019 -- since 1966.
The Journal also reports that the board's investigation revealed other nondisclosure pacts stemming from misconduct claims involving other women who had previously worked for WWE, which involved McMahon and John Laurinaitis, WWE's general manager of talent relations.
The news comes less than a month after McMahon's daughter, Stephanie, announced her decision to take "a leave of absence" from the company effective on May 20.
WWE president and chief revenue officer Nick Khan took over "most of Stephanie McMahon's duties in her absence," Wrestlenomics' Brandon Thurston reported at the time of the announcement, citing multiple sources "at WWE."