Former WWE CEO Vince McMahon Paid $12 Million to Four Women Amid Sexual Misconduct Claims

by Patrick Norton

Vince McMahon’s existence and popularity relies on relevance. Often taking a no-press-is-bad-press approach, the entertainment mogul is always in character. However, since stepping back as CEO and chairman of WWE last month, Vince McMahon’s past is catching up to the billionaire.

A report from The Wall Street Journal details a payment history from McMahon to women related to WWE. The money – totaling more than $12 million – went to four individuals claiming sexual misconduct and harassment against the 76-year-old. Payments spread over a 16 year period vary in worth – the largest reaching $7.5 million.

One woman claims McMahon coerced sexual acts and then blackballed her from competitions when she refused. Another claimant reveals the billionaire sent unsolicited sexually explicit photos. In June, the company’s board announced an investigation into an undisclosed payment worth $3 million from McMahon to a paralegal stemming from an affair.

McMahon’s no stranger to scandal. However, in most cases, it plays into the show in some facet. With the founder stepping away as CEO last month, but retaining a role in content development, it’s relatively unknown how this impacts his standing with the company. While he likely wouldn’t face further legal action, a permanent departure from WWE isn’t necessarily out of the question.

The Damaged Plot Armor of Vince McMahon

Spinning his departure from the corner office didn’t mean disappearing from the limelight. McMahon surprised audiences with an appearance last month on WWE’s Monday Night Raw programming. The cameo included a brief promotion, teasing John Cena’s return to the stage.

However, the wrestling icon didn’t address the scandal in front of the crowd. Instead, McMahon opted to release a statement upon his self-imposed demotion. The 76-year-old says, “I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the special committee”. In the same release, McMahon claims he will “accept the findings and outcome of the investigation.”