Vince McMahon attends a press conference to announce that WWE Wrestlemania 29 will be held at MetLife Stadium in 2013 at MetLife Stadium on February 16, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Michael N. Todaro | Getty Images
WWE’s Vince McMahon has paid four women more than $12 million over the past 16 years to suppress allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The women were all formerly affiliated with World Wrestling Entertainment, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the deals and documents. The newspaper reported in June that WWE’s board of directors was investigating a secret $3 million settlement McMahon paid to a paralegal with whom he allegedly had an affair.
In its Friday report, the Journal documented three additional hidden money payments between 2006 and 2018: one for $7.5 million to a former wrestler who alleged McMahon forced her to perform oral sex on him and subsequently refused to renew his contract after resisting subsequent sexual encounters. ; another for $1 million to a woman who had worked as a WWE contractor and said she received unsolicited nude photos of McMahon; and a third of approximately $1 million to a former manager who worked with McMahon for a decade.
WWE did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the latest allegations.
WWE announced last month that McMahon was stepping back from his role as CEO and chairman – but retaining his creative content responsibilities at the company – pending an investigation into his alleged misconduct. His daughter, Stephanie McMahon, was named interim CEO.
“I have pledged my full cooperation with the Special Committee’s investigation, and I will do my best to support the investigation,” McMahon said in the statement at the time. “I am also committed to accepting the findings and results of the investigation, whatever they may be.”
The WWE Board of Directors is investigating McMahon’s deals with the wrestler and former paralegal, the Journal reported. The WWE Board of Directors is also investigating allegations against WWE executive John Laurinaitis, who wrestled as Johnny Ace.
The investigation, which began in April, was sparked by several anonymous emails that threatened to reveal details of the settlement between McMahon and the former paralegal, the Journal reported.
WWE’s stock price fell about 1% to $64.21 on Friday.
Read the full Wall Street Journal report.