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WWE’s Vince McMahon paid $12 million to settle misconduct allegations, report says

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Vince McMahon attends a press conference to announce that WWE Wrestlemania 29 will likely be held at MetLife Stadium in 2013 at MetLife Stadium on February 16, 2012 in East Rutherford, Latest Jersey.

Michael N. Todaro | Getty Images

WWE’s Vince McMahon paid greater than $12 million to 4 women over the past 16 years to suppress allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity, in line with a report by the Wall Street Journal.

The ladies were all formerly affiliated with World Wrestling Entertainment, the Journal reported, citing people aware of the agreements and documents. The newspaper reported in June that WWE’s board was investigating a secret $3 million settlement McMahon paid to a paralegal he allegedly had an affair with.

In its report Friday, the Journal reported three additional hush-money payments between 2006 and 2018: one for $7.5 million to a former wrestler who alleged McMahon coerced her into giving him oral sex and later declined to renew her contract after she resisted subsequent sexual encounters; one other for $1 million to a lady who had worked as a WWE contractor and said she received unsolicited nude photos from McMahon; and a 3rd in the quantity of about $1 million to a former manager who worked with McMahon for a decade.

WWE didn’t reply to CNBC’s request for comment on the newest allegations.

WWE announced last month that McMahon was stepping back from his role as CEO and chairman − but retaining his responsibilities related to the corporate’s creative content − pending an investigation into his alleged misconduct. His daughter, Stephanie McMahon, was named interim CEO.

“I even have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee, and I’ll do every thing possible to support the investigation,” McMahon said in the discharge on the time. “I even have also pledged to simply accept the findings and end result of the investigation, whatever they’re.”

WWE’s board is investigating McMahon’s deals with the wrestler and the previous paralegal, the Journal reported. The WWE board can be investigating allegations against WWE executive John Laurinaitis, who used to wrestle under the name Johnny Ace.

The investigation, which began in April, was set off by several anonymous emails that threatened to disclose details of the settlement between McMahon and the previous paralegal, the Journal reported.

WWE’s share prices were down about 1% at $64.21 Friday.

Read the total report by the Wall Street Journal.

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