New Details On WWE's Investigation Into Vince McMahon
By Jason Hall
June 21, 2022
Five law firms are currently looking to take up class action lawsuit against WWE on behalf of its investors amid the company's ongoing investigation into longtime chairman and CEO Vince McMahon paying $3 million hush-money settlement paid to a woman over an alleged affair.
Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics.com shared links to five law firms' joint news releases announcing that they are "investigating claims on behalf of investors of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (“WWE” or “the Company”) (NYSE: WWE) for violations of the securities laws."
The law firms involved include Scott+Scott, Rosen Law Firm, Schall Law Firm, Brager Eagel & Squire and Labaton Sucharow.
"Scott+Scott investigating whether members of WWE’s board of directors or senior management failed to manage WWE in an acceptable manner, in breach of their fiduciary duties to WWE, and whether WWE and its shareholders have suffered damages as a result," a news release from Scott+Scott states.
Actually there are 5 firms with press releases on Business Wire now.— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) June 21, 2022
Rosen Law Firm: https://t.co/qC0Qa7JbXl
Schall Law Firm: https://t.co/CfqmmtEhSu
Brager Eagel & Squire:https://t.co/ivVH2M0Joh
The news comes amid Fightful's report that WWE head of talent relations John Laurinaitis, who was also named in the Wall Street Journal's report on the ongoing investigation by WWE's board of directors into McMahon, has been placed on administrative leave and replaced by Bruce Prichard in an interim capacity.
Fightful can confirm that talent were informed that Bruce Prichard is now interim Head of Talent Relations. John Laurinaitis was placed on administrative leave.— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) June 21, 2022
Last Friday (June 17), WWE announced McMahon had voluntarily stepped down from his responsibilities amid an ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct and would be replaced by his daughter, Stephanie, on an interim basis.
“I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation. I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are,” McMahon said in the joint release on behalf of WWE and its Board of Directors.
Since then, McMahon has made two in-character appearances on both Friday Night SmackDown and Monday Night Raw (June 20), though not directly addressing the allegations or investigation.
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 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," Thurston reported at the time of the announcement, citing multiple sources "at WWE."