According to the Wall Street Journal, former WWE CEO Vince McMahon allegedly paid four women a total of more than $12 million in an effort to cover up allegations of sexual misconduct.
The four women, who were all connected to WWE, signed agreements that “prohibit them from discussing potential legal claims against or their relationships with the 76-year-old executive,” which is how the four settlements McMahon apparently paid out occurred over the course of 16 years.
Included in the settlements in issue is a $7.5 million payment made in 2018 to an ex-WWE employee who claimed the CEO “coerced her into giving him oral sex, then demoted her, and, ultimately, declined to renew her contract in 2005 after she resisted further sexual encounters.”
A former WWE contractor who accused McMahon of harassing her at work and sending her unsolicited nude images claims that McMahon paid her $1 million in 2008. A former WWE manager who claims that McMahon “started a sexual connection with her” is also accused of receiving a $1 million payment from McMahon.
The investigation into alleged wrongdoing led McMahon to resign from his position as WWE chairman and CEO, and the report comes less than a month later. The board’s investigation prior to his departure turned up several nondisclosure agreements with former female employees, including one in which McMahon paid a former paralegal $3 million to keep their relationship private.
“I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the special committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation,” McMahon said in a statement in June. “I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are.”