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16 Jun, 2022 15:32

Wrestling rocked by salacious McMahon allegations

Reports claim Vince McMahon paid 'hush money' to a former employee with whom he had an affair
Wrestling rocked by salacious McMahon allegations

Vince McMahon, the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), is the subject of an internal investigation related to reports of an alleged $3 million 'hush money' payment made earlier this year to a former employee with whom the 76-year-old is said to have had an affair.

The WWE board has launched a probe into the allegations following a report published in the Wall Street Journal which stated that an ex-employee of the company's legal team received the multimillion-dollar sum in return for not discussing the alleged sexual relationship with McMahon.

The report further claims that the board has also uncovered non-disclosure agreements with female former employees of the company which accuse McMahon of impropriety. 

It also alleges that the WWE head of talent relations, John Laurinaitis, who formerly performed under the name Johnny Ace, was involved in misconduct.

The WSJ investigation claimed that the unnamed woman was initially hired on an annual salary of $100,000 but that was doubled after she entered into the alleged sexual relationship with McMahon, according to emails sent to the WWE board from a person purported to be a friend of the woman in question.

It also adds that the woman was considered to be “like a toy” who could be passed around between McMahon and Laurinaitis.

The emails also said that the woman became “scared” as the relationship continued and that McMahon's legal team paid her "millions of dollars to shut up."

A spokesperson for WWE told the WSJ that the sexual relationship was “consensual” and that there are no allegations of harassment against McMahon.

They also said that WWE funds were not used to pay off the woman, but instead that any payments to her came from McMahon's personal wealth.

The WWE board of directors contains 12 members, including McMahon's daughter Stephanie and her husband and McMahon's son-in-law Paul Levesque, who wrestled under the ring name 'Triple H'.

Stephanie McMahon, who has been involved in the WWE since her teens, announced less than a month ago that she was taking a leave of absence from her role within the company to “focus on my family.”

Vince McMahon has been married to Linda McMahon since 1966, who served as the Small Business Administration chief during the Donald Trump presidency.

McMahon has had several run-ins with controversy throughout his career as a professional wrestling promoter, not least of which was a scandal in 1993 when he was indicted on federal charges related to the distribution of anabolic steroids. He was acquitted the following year.