Image Source: F4W Online
According to a Wall Street Journal article, WWE CEO Vince McMahon is being probed by the board of directors for agreeing to pay a secret $3 million settlement to a former employee with whom he allegedly had an affair.
According to the Journal, the severance agreement, which was purportedly signed in January, prohibits the former, unnamed employee from “discussing her relationship with Mr. McMahon or denigrating him.”
The probe began in April and has “unearthed additional, older nondisclosure agreements involving claims of wrongdoing by Mr. McMahon by former female WWE employees,” according to the Journal. In addition, other allegations of wrongdoing have been leveled against John Laurinaitis, the company’s head of talent relations.
On March 30, McMahon, who is 76, allegedly recruited the employee “at a salary of $100,000 but upped it to $200,000 after initiating a sexual connection with her,” according to an email sent to the WWE board. According to the email, McMahon treated the former employee, a 41-year-old paralegal, like a “doll” to Mr. Laurinaitis.
The WWE did not respond to CNN’s request for comment on this story immediately.
A WWE spokeswoman told the Journal that the company is cooperating with the investigation and that McMahon’s relationship with the former employee was consensual.
According to the Journal, WWE’s board of directors includes WWE officials and even members of McMahon’s own family. Stephanie McMahon’s husband, Paul Levesque, is a former wrestler who goes by the stage name Triple H. McMahon controls the majority of the voting power among the company’s shareholders.
McMahon has spent decades in the WWE, both behind the scenes and in the ring.
The CEO has aided in the company’s transformation into a media powerhouse, with current partnerships with Fox and NBCUniversal. McMahon has also aided in developing numerous well-known wrestlers, such as The Rock, John Cena, and Stone Cold Steve Austin, who have grown more renowned than the WWE (WWE).
Vince McMahon resigns as CEO of WWE.
Due to an alleged misconduct investigation, Vince McMahon resigned as CEO and Chairman of WWE.
While the inquiry is ongoing, McMahon will be in charge of the WWE’s creative output, and his daughter will serve as CEO.
Vince McMahon will be at the next SmackDown live event on Friday, following the start of the inquiry.