A report from the Wall Street Journal says that the WWE Board of Directors is investigating a $3 million “hush package” paid to a former employee who allegedly had an affair with CEO Vince McMahon.
“The January 2022 separation agreement bars the now-former employee, who was hired as a paralegal in 2019, from discussing her relationship with Mr. McMahon or disparaging him, the people said.”
As part of their investigation, the Board uncovered claims and NDAs made by other former female employees against Vince McMahon and WWE head of Talent Relations, John Laurenitis.
Here’s everything we know
Vince McMahon’s Affair
According to the report, the board became aware of the affair and the $3 million payment following a series of anonymous emails sent by someone who claimed to be a friend of the woman.
The emails allege that McMahon increased the woman’s salary once the two began a sexual relationship. The woman also worked as an assistant for Laurenitis. But by far the most salacious claim is that McMahon “gave her like a toy” to Laurenitis.
It should be noted that WSJ was not able to independently verify the claims made above
Is The Payment Illegal?
The board began investigating the payments in April 2022 and determined that Mr. McMahon paid the women out of his personal funds. It would be potentially illegal if it came out that McMahon used company funds to pay off the women. It appears that McMahon and his attorney are cooperating with the investigation over the payment.
“The directors received a copy of the $3 million agreement from one of Mr. McMahon’s lawyers on June 12, one person familiar with the inquiry said. The nondisclosure agreement provided an upfront payment of $1 million to the former employee, with the remaining $2 million to be doled out over a period of five years, people familiar with the deal said.”
While Vince may not have done anything illegal, it is certainly unethical. Could his days as the head of WWE be numbered?
The existence of other NDAs could end up a big deal. WWE came out of the “Me Too” era relatively unscathed. But if McMahon and Laurenitis did indeed pay to silence women who claimed harassment, then that opens up a whole new line of inquiry.
The board investigation is looking into the company’s compliance and human resources departments as well. I suspect this story will continue to develop and we will learn a lot more in the days ahead.
People who don’t watch wrestling: Wow can you believe this Vince McMahon story???
Literally everyone who’s watched wrestling since 1998: Yes.
— Jeremy Ball (@JMBall21) June 15, 2022
Me opening Twitter and seeing why Vince McMahon is trending: pic.twitter.com/eh39fWLKnI
— Fiending For Followers ‼️ (@Fiend4FolIows) June 15, 2022
Probably not, but speculate away!
WAIT A FUCKING MINUTE EVERYONE I JUST REALIZED SOMETHING!!!
If Vince McMahon was giving someone $3 million in hush money for his affair, is THAT why all the releases in the past 2 years have been budget cuts!?!?!?! pic.twitter.com/JTuMFsyVSr
— Wilson (@WonderWilson18) June 15, 2022
Some people think this is part of a plan by Nick Khan to force Vince to sell the company. But Vince holds all the stock and voting power.
Vince McMahon getting Iago’d by some Hollywood smooth-talker into getting rid of his dipshit kids and son-in-law, then immediately getting his decades of MeToo stuff publicized, is a pretty perfect third act capper. Real King Lear goofs https://t.co/mjoT1GqxmV
— Jingleghost (@JeremyMonjo) June 15, 2022
Khan wouldn’t make that much money unless he just wants control of WWE. Which, even in the midst of all this, I think only happens when Vince is dead.
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