WWE Board Investigates Vince McMahon’s Secret $3 Million Payment

Vince McMahon attends a news conference at MetLife Stadium on February 16, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Michael N. Todaro | beautiful pictures

World Wrestling TournamentThe board is investigating a $3 million settlement that CEO Vince McMahon paid a woman for an alleged affair, The Wall Street Journal reported Fourth, cite documents and people familiar with the matter.

The agreement, signed in January, is intended to prevent the woman, who used to work in a legal capacity for the company, from discussing her relationship with McMahon or making statements, the Journal added. quotes about executives.

A WWE spokesman told the newspaper that the company was cooperating with the board’s investigation and that the relationship between McMahon and the woman was consensual.

McMahon, 76, is married to Linda McMahon, who served as the CEO of WWE and as the Director of Small Business Management during the administration of former President Donald Trump, who was a WWE Hall of Famer.

The report said the board’s investigation, which began in April, also revealed non-disclosure agreements related to misconduct complaints from other women who had worked at WWE. The deals involve McMahon and WWE talent executive John Laurinaitis, who wrestles under the name Johnny Ace, the Journal added.

WWE did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

The council has retained Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, a New York-based law firm, to conduct the investigation, a source told the Journal. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

McMahon’s attorney, Jerry McDevitt, was not immediately available for comment. McDevitt told the Journal that the former employee did not make any harassment claims against McMahon. He also said that WWE had not paid her any money, the newspaper said.

This news comes at an important time for the entertainment company – wrestling. In May, chief executive Stephanie McMahon, daughter of Vince and Linda McMahon, quit most of her responsibilities at the company. “WWE is a lifelong legacy for me and I look forward to returning to the company I love after taking this time to focus on my family” she tweeted at the time.

WWE has also been the subject of speculation about a potential acquisition and its media rights. It there is a transaction with Fox, USA Network, Hulu, and NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service. The Hulu deal will expire this year.

The company is publicly traded, but McMahon owns the majority of WWE’s voting stock. He took over the company from his father, also named Vince McMahon, in 1982. Under the supervision of the younger McMahon, WWE, then known as the World Wrestling Federation, became a wrestling organization. global picture. In the decades since, the company has produced superstars like Hulk Hogan, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Dave Bautista.

This is a far cry from the controversial McMahon first brush. In 1993, he was indicted on federal charges related to anabolic steroids, which he and several professional wrestlers in the WWF stables used. He was acquitted in 1994. McMahon and company were also fired in 1999 for continuing to show after superstar Owen Hart, Bret’s brother, fell to his death from the rafters of a gymnasium while staging a stunt. The company finally agreed paid the Hart family $18 million about the wrestler’s death.

Read the full Wall Street Journal report here.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.

– Candice Choi of CNBC contributed to this report.

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