WWE Founder Vince McMahon Facing Allegations Of Inappropriate Behavior

Back in 2022, Vince McMahon, the founder and former CEO of WWE, was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with Janel Grant, who worked in the legal and talent departments of the company. At that time, the WWE board received an anonymous tip and began investigating their relationship. In response, McMahon agreed to pay Grant $3 million in exchange for her signature on a nondisclosure agreement.

McMahon also stepped down as CEO, but he returned to WWE as the executive chairman in 2023. Now, in 2024, Grant has filed a lawsuit against McMahon. She claims that he only paid her $1 million instead of the agreed upon $3 million. She believes that as a result the NDA she signed is “void and unenforceable.”

Variety reports that on January 25th, Grant filed a lawsuit that accuses McMahon and John Laurinaitis, the former head of talent relations, of sexual abuse and sex trafficking of Grant “both for their own pleasure and as a pawn to secure talent deals with prospective wrestlers they were recruiting.” She claims that McMahon “repeatedly used sex toys named after other WWE employees, wrestlers and performers to sexually groom Ms. Grant for trafficking to those same people.”

Grant also accuses McMahon of giving her “gifts and empty work promotions” while also “threatening her livelihood and her reputation if she wouldn’t succumb to his increasingly depraved sexual demands, including disseminating pornography of Ms. Grant to ‘thousands’ of individuals and engaging in sex acts with other WWE employees — some of whom were complete strangers.”

According to the lawsuit, it was when McMahon’s wife found out about his relationship with Grant that she “was abruptly pressured to resign from the WWE and forced to sign an NDA days before a major financial deadline for the organization under the guise that Mr. McMahon would ‘protect her’ financially and reputationally, and pay her $3 million. However, Mr. McMahon later refused to make payments to Ms. Grant, falsely claiming that she had leaked information to the press.”

While McMahon claims Grant is lying, ESPN reports that just one day after the lawsuit was filed, on January 26th, McMahon also resigned from his position at WWE. In the statement McMahon explained, “I stand by my prior statement that Ms. Grant’s lawsuit is replete with lies, obscene made-up instances that never occurred, and is a vindictive distortion of the truth.” He added, “I intend to vigorously defend myself against these baseless accusations, and look forward to clearing my name; however, out of respect for the WWE Universe, the extraordinary TKO business and its board members and shareholders, partners and constituents, and all of the employees and Superstars who helped make WWE into the global leader it is today, I have decided to resign from my executive chairmanship and the TKO board of directors, effective immediately.”

In a memo to WWE staff, WWE president Nick Khan explained, “I wanted to inform you that Vince McMahon has tendered his resignation from his positions as TKO Executive Chairman and on the TKO Board of Directors.He will no longer have a role with TKO Group holdings or WWE.”