— The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the WWE’s Board of Directors are investigating CEO Vince McMahon over an alleged secret $3 million “hush pact” payment that he made in January of 2022 to a former employee with whom he had a sexual relationship with. The report adds that when the employee, who was a paralegal, left the company, the agreement prohibits her from discussing McMahon, their relationship or disparaging him in any way.
— The Board has been investigating this since April and during this process has discovered older non-disclosure agreements by other former females employed by the company in which they claimed misconduct on the part of McMahon and John Laurinaitis, who heads the talent department. The board’s investigation and legal team has determined that the payments McMahon made out under this hush agreement totaled approximately $3 million.
— A WWE spokesperson released a statement to WSJ indicating that they are cooperating with the investigation but maintaining that the relationship between McMahon and the former employee was consensual, however, they are taking the allegations seriously and dealing with them appropriately. They sent similar verbiage internally to staff upon this story breaking. WWE’s longtime attorney Jerry McDevitt added that the former paralegal hadn’t made any claims of harassment against Mr. McMahon and that WWE did not make any payments to the ex-employee when she departed the company.
— The WSJ article states that the Board of Directors first learned of the allegations when they received an email from a friend of the former employee in March where it was claimed that the employee was hired in 2019 with a $100,000 salary that was raised to $200,000 once she began a relationship with McMahon. The email then alleged that McMahon then passed her off “like a toy” to Laurinaitis around 2021. The email went on to say “My friend was so scared so she quit after Vince McMahon and lawyer Jerry paid her millions of dollars to shut up.” The nondisclosure agreement, which WWE’s Board of Directors received a copy of on June 12, provided an upfront payment of $1 million dollars to the ex-employee, with the remaining $2 million balance to be paid out over the next five years.