WWE CEO and Chairman Vince McMahon reportedly agreed to pay more than $12 million to four women over the last 16 years to cover up allegations of infidelity and sexual misconduct, according to both documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal and accounts by people familiar with the arrangements.
McMahon reportedly paid $7.5 million in 2018 to an ex-wrestler who alleged that he coerced her into performing oral sex before demoting her and then declining to renew her contract in 2005, when she rejected further encounters.
Additionally, a 2006 agreement with a former manager alleged that McMahon initiated a sexual relationship with her after she’d been with the company for a decade, and she was paid $1 million for her silence.
And per a 2008 nondisclosure agreement, $1 million reportedly went to a contract employee who presented evidence of unsolicited nude photos of McMahon after she accused him of sexual harassment.
McMahon temporarily stepped down as CEO and Chairman on June 17 amid an investigation into a separate $3 million payment to cover up an alleged affair with a different employee. His daughter Stephanie McMahon stepped in as interim CEO, but McMahon still maintains creative control.
“I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation,” McMahon previously said in a statement. “I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are.”
John Laurinaitis, a WWE executive who was forced to step down as Head of Talent in 2012 after an alleged affair with an employee, is also being investigated for sexual misconduct.
Read the Wall Street Journal’s full report here.