Former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) CEO and Chairman Vince McMahon is reportedly under federal criminal investigation over numerous sexual misconduct allegations that have been made against him.
The Wall Street Journal reported that prosecutors in New York have been in contact with multiple women who have allegedly received payouts from McMahon after accusing him of sexual misconduct.
The news comes just days after former WWE employee Janel Grant filed an explosive lawsuit in federal court accusing McMahon of sexual abuse and sex trafficking. McMahon subsequently resigned from his positions at the parent company of the WWE and UFC, TKO Group Holdings, late last month.
The Journal said that the federal probe began in 2022 and that last summer, federal agents executed a search warrant for McMahon’s phone and “delivered a subpoena to him for documents related to any allegation of ‘rape, sex trafficking, sexual assault, commercial sex transaction, harassment or discrimination’” relating to any current or former employees.
The Journal added:
The other women named in the grand jury subpoena include a WWE contractor whom McMahon allegedly sent unsolicited nude photos and sexually harassed; a former WWE wrestler who said McMahon coerced her into giving him oral sex; former WWE referee Rita Chatterton, who publicly accused McMahon of raping her; a spa manager who said McMahon assaulted her at a Southern California resort; and a former WWE employee who alleged the head of talent relations at the company at the time, John Laurinaitis, demoted her after she broke off an affair with him.
McMahon denied any wrongdoing, adding: “I intend to vigorously defend myself against these baseless accusations, and look forward to clearing my name.”
Edward Brennan, an attorney for former WWE John Laurinaitis, who was also mentioned in Grant’s lawsuit, said in a statement: “We deny any and all allegations and will vigorously defend the charges against Mr. Laurinaitis in the appropriate setting.”
“Count how many times in the complaint Vince exerts control over both the Plaintiff and Johnny,” Brennan told the Journal. “It’s a good complaint. It just doesn’t list all the victims, including Johnny.”