Vince McMahon (L) and Donald Trump attend a WWE press conference at Austin Straubel International Airport on June 22, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Mark A. Wallenfang | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images
Former World Wrestling Entertainment boss Vince McMahon paid $5 million of approximately $20 million in previously unrecorded expenses to Donald Trump’s foundation in 2007 and 2009, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.
The report comes weeks after McMahon retired as CEO of the company amid investigations into silent payments he made in connection with allegations of sexual misconduct. WWE has since said its board’s independent investigation into the matter is “substantially complete.”
While the majority of the $20 million in payouts went to women who accused McMahon and another WWE executive of sexual misconduct, an additional $5 million was used for unrelated purposes, according to a recent filing. of titles.
The $5 million represented charitable donations to the now-disbanded Donald J. Trump Foundation, the Journal reported, citing sources. The donations were made for two years during which Trump made appearances at WWE televised events.
WWE did not immediately return a request for comment.
Trump dissolved that foundation as part of a settlement with the New York State Attorney General’s office in 2018, when a lawsuit alleged Trump misused the charity’s funds for his presidential campaign. 2016, to pay legal settlements and promote his business.
This news comes less than a month after the Securities and Exchange Commission and federal prosecutors launched investigations into the $14.6 million in payments made by McMahon to settle allegations of sexual misconduct.
The $5 million in contribution payments should have been categorized as a corporate expense because McMahon was a major shareholder and the payments benefited the company, a WWE attorney told the WSJ.
The first of two appearances resulted in a $1 million fee for Trump and a $4 million McMahons personal contribution to his foundation. For his second appearance, Trump was paid $100,000, and McMahon and his wife, Linda, donated $1 million to the foundation.
While the $5 million appeared on the foundation’s tax returns as coming directly from WWE, the company said in its security filings this month that the payments came directly from McMahon personally.
Vince McMahon is still WWE’s largest shareholder despite having left the company. He bought the company from his father about 40 years ago and turned it into a global powerhouse. His daughter, Stephanie McMahon, now works as co-CEO, along with executive Nick Khan.
Linda McMahon served as Chief of the Small Business Administration in Trump’s cabinet. Trump, who hosted two Wrestlemania events in Atlantic City in the 1980s, is enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Read the full Wall Street Journal report.