then now forever?
Embattled WWE boss Vince McMahon paid over $12 million in hush money to suppress allegations of sexual misconduct, a bombshell new report says.
McMahon recently stepped aside as WWE CEO after The Wall Street Journal revealed the board is investigating him over misconduct allegations and that he allegedly paid $3 million in hush money to cover up an affair with an employee. But on Friday, new reporting from the Journal indicated McMahon made more hush-money payments than previously known: over $12 million to four women.
According to the report, this includes a $7.5 million agreement with a former wrestler who in 2018 alleged McMahon "coerced her into giving him oral sex and then demoted her and, ultimately, declined to renew her contract in 2005 after she resisted further sexual encounters."
McMahon also allegedly paid $1 million in 2008 to a WWE contractor who accused him of sexual harassment and sending her unsolicited nude photos, as well as another $1 million to a former manager with whom he allegedly initiated a sexual relationship. There is also the previously reported $3 million agreement with a former paralegal.
After those initial allegations emerged, McMahon said he would step aside as WWE's CEO and support the board's investigation. But WWE said he would still "retain his role and responsibilities related to WWE's creative content," and McMahon subsequently appeared on WWE's SmackDown!, where he received cheers from fans. McMahon's daughter, Stephanie McMahon, is now serving as interim CEO.