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World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Vince McMahon is stepping away from the business side of the wrestling company as an investigation is conducted into an alleged silent payment to cover up sexual misconduct, WWE and its board of directors announced on Friday. .
McMahon ran the company for 40 years after taking over from her father in 1982 when it was known as the World Wrestling Federation. He will still retain control of WWE’s creative output during the investigation, and the company has announced he will appear on Friday night’s episode of Smack down.
“I have pledged my full cooperation with the Special Committee’s investigation, and I will do my best to support the investigation. I have also pledged to accept the findings and results of the investigation, whatever they may be. “McMahon said in the company’s statement. statement.
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the board is investigating a $3 million payment made to a woman to cover up an alleged consensual affair between a WWE paralegal and McMahon, who has faced charges of sexual misconduct in the past.
The newspaper reported that the board’s investigation uncovered several other nondisclosure agreements entered into in connection with other misconduct complaints against McMahon and talent relations manager John Laurinaitis by women who worked for WWE.
Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon, daughter of Vince McMahon and a WWE executive since 2006, will take over as CEO and Chairman of the Board in his absence.
The company said that in addition to investigating the allegations against McMahon and Laurinaitis, it would also hire an outside firm to review the human resources department and the general culture of the company.
The McMahon family has been involved in wrestling for over a hundred years, and Vince McMahon regularly portrays himself and his children as villains in WWE wrestling storylines. The company gained a virtual monopoly of the industry with the shutdown of World Championship Wrestling in 2001.
It made the family billionaires, and they used some of that money to get involved in Republican politics, including two failed U.S. Senate seats for Linda McMahon, Vince’s wife. She then led the Small Business Administration for two years under former President Donald Trump.