WSJ: WWE's Vince McMahon Paid Women over $12M to Hide Alleged Misconduct, Infidelity

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 8, 2022

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In the wake of a recent report that WWE executive Vince McMahon allegedly paid a woman $3 million to keep a sexual relationship between them confidential, a new report alleges that McMahon did the same with three other women as well.

According to Joe Palazzolo, Ted Mann and Joe Flint of the Wall Street Journal, McMahon paid four different women a total of more than $12 million over the past 16 years in exchange for their silence regarding alleged infidelity and sexual misconduct.

Among the three newest allegations is one from a former WWE wrestler who said McMahon coerced her into giving him oral sex, demoted her and then declined to renew her contract in 2005 when she refused to engage in additional sexual encounters.

The woman and her attorney reportedly negotiated a $7.5 million settlement with McMahon in 2018.

In 2008, a WWE contractor reportedly presented the company with nude photos McMahon sent her and said he sexually harassed her on the job, leading to a nondisclosure agreement and $1 million payout.

The earliest payout was reportedly given in 2006, when a former WWE manager was given $1 million to remain silent about an alleged sexual relationship with McMahon.

The allegation that began the WWE board of directors' investigation into McMahon originated a few weeks ago, when the board received an anonymous email alleging McMahon had an affair with a WWE employee who was hired in 2019 before leaving in January 2022.

McMahon reportedly hired the woman, whose resume said she had attended law school, after meeting her at his condo in Stamford, Connecticut.

The 76-year-old McMahon, who has been married to Linda McMahon since 1966, allegedly had an affair with the woman and later paid her $3 million in exchange for confidentiality.

In the anonymous email, it was said that McMahon "gave her like a toy" to WWE head of talent relations John Laurinaitis, who is also under investigation by the board.

McMahon reportedly transferred the woman from WWE's legal department to talent relations under Laurinaitis in 2021.

It was also alleged that McMahon suggested raising the woman's salary from $100,000 to $300,000 at one point before the company agreed to raise her salary to $200,000.

In the midst of the investigation, McMahon stepped down as WWE chairman and CEO temporarily in mid-June, handing the duties over to his daughter, Stephanie McMahon, on an interim basis.

McMahon has maintained his role as WWE head of creative and has even appeared on Raw and SmackDown on a few occasions since stepping down as chairman and CEO.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.