Vince McMahon Paid Millions More In Hush Money: Report
By Jason Hall
July 8, 2022
The Wall Street Journal, which exclusively reported WWE's investigation a $3 million hush-money settlement paid by McMahon to a woman over an alleged affair, is now reporting that the 76-year-old paid more than $12 million in hush money to four women during the past 16 years in an effort to suppress allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity.
All four of the women were formerly affiliated with WWE and signed agreements with McMahon prohibiting them from discussing possible legal claims or their relationship with him publicly, sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to the Journal.
The new reported settlements include McMahon paying $7.5 million to a former WWE wrestler who claimed McMahon coerced her into giving him oral sex and then demoted her before ultimately deciding not to renew her contract after she resisted additional sexual encounters, sources familiar with the situation confirmed to the Journal.
A WWE contractor also claimed that McMahon sent her unsolicited nude photos of himself to her and sexually harassed her on the job, which resulted in a payout of "roughly $1 million," according to sources.
A former manager who had previously worked for McMahon for 10 years alleged that McMahon initiated a sexual relationship with her and paid $1 million in hush money, sources with knowledge confirmed to the Journal.
Last month, 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 multiple in-character appearances on both Friday Night SmackDown and Monday Night Raw (June 20), though not directly addressing the allegations or investigation and appeared publicly at the UFC 276 event in Las Vegas shortly after the conclusion of WWE's Money in the Bank event in the same city.
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.