WWE President Nick Khan, Other Exec Named In McMahon Lawsuit

By Jason Hall

March 12, 2024

Photo: Getty Images

WWE President Nick Khan and COO Brad Blum were identified as Corporate Officers No. 1 and 2, respectively, in a sex trafficking lawsuit filed against former chairman Vince McMahon and former head of talent relations Josh Laurinaitis, Front Office Sports reports.

The lawsuit claims that Khan and Blum, whose names weren't previously reported, were not personally accused of sexual misconduct or violence, however, were among the parties that facilitated and covered up exploitation that would make the company liable under federal anti-trafficking law. The two executives were reportedly complicit in a scheme to give the plaintiff, Janel Grant, "a completely undefined role, except for the understanding that she remain a sexual slave to be used and trafficked by McMahon within the WWE," the lawsuit states via Front Office Sports.

“WWE takes Ms. Grant’s allegations very seriously and has no tolerance for any physical abuse or unwanted physical contact,” a WWE spokesperson said in a response statement obtained by Front Office Sports. “Neither Nick Khan nor Brad Blum, prior to the lawsuit being filed on January 25, 2024, were aware of any allegation by Ms. Grant that she was the victim of abuse or unwanted physical contact; nor does the complaint allege that either had knowledge of such.”

Longtime WWE executive Stephanie McMahon, the daughter of the disgraced former chairman, was also identified as Corporate Officer No. 3, according to Front Office Sports. Stephanie was mentioned once "in an ambiguous context," and described as knowing "of other instances of" her father "engaging in inappropriate sexual conduct" and motioned for Grant to sit near her at meetings of WWE's executive committee.

Stephanie McMahon took a leave of absence from WWE three months after her father and Grant signed an NDA, but became interim CEO and chair after Vince McMahon's 2022 resignation amid a probe by the WWE board of directors into alleged hush money payments he made to several former female employees and performers leading to his resignation. The elder McMahon eventually seized back control of the board prior to WWE's sale to Endeavor while Stephanie resigned days later.

Vince McMahon has been under federal investigation for sexual assault and sex trafficking allegations in recent months, sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to the Wall Street Journal last month. Prosecutors in New York have been in contact with women who made sexual misconduct claims against McMahon prior to a lawsuit being filed by Grant in January.

Federal agents reportedly executed a search warrant for McMahon's phone and a subpoena to acquire documents possessed by him in relation to allegations of “rape, sex trafficking, sexual assault, commercial sex transaction, harassment or discrimination” made by current or former WWE employees was delivered in relation to the probe, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Grant filed a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut on January 25 accusing McMahon of forcing a physical relationship in exchange for promised employment, which she claims led to her feeling "trapped in an impossible situation" in which she had to adhere to his demands or face ruin.

“Ms. Grant feared she had everything to lose and faced negative consequences no matter what happened,” the lawsuit states via NBC News.

McMahon and Laurinaitis were both specifically mentioned in the lawsuit, which alleges "sex trafficking, civil battery, intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress and negligence."

McMahon officially resigned from his position as executive chairman of TKO, a parent company launched by Endeavor following its purchase of WWE in April 2023 on January 26. In July 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, reported 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.

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.

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