WWE Boss Vince McMahon Steps Down Amid Messy Sex Scandal Investigation

WWE Boss Vince McMahon Steps Down Amid Messy Sex Scandal Investigation

World Wrestling Entertainment boss Vince McMahon has stepped down as CEO amid a scandal involving allegations he paid millions in hush money to keep an extramarital affair quiet.

The wrestling impresario, who built his father’s business into a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate, allegedly agreed to pay $3 million to the employee, who has not been named. The company’s board is investigating the payments.

“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 the press release. “I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are.”

Vince McMahon steps down as WWE CEO and chairman amid an investigation into alleged misconduct. @BRWrestling pic.twitter.com/9KLnBPmCem

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 17, 2022

McMahon is the husband of former Trump Small Business Administration chief Linda McMahon. Their daughter, Stephanie McMahon, will serve as interim CEO and chairwoman until the probe concludes, the company announced on Friday.

The investigation, which began in April, was first reported Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal. The report said McMahon had hired the woman as a $100,000-per-year paralegal and then doubled her salary after the alleged affair began. He then allegedly handed the woman off “like a toy” to John Laurinaitis, WWE’s head of talent, according to the report.

The board learned of the alleged affair from an anonymous email from a purported friend of the woman. The alleged paramour did not accuse McMahon of harassment, according to McMahon’s lawyer, Jerry McDevitt.

“My friend was so scared so she quit after Vince McMahon and lawyer Jerry paid her millions of dollars to shut up,” the initial email to the board said.

McMahon allegedly used his own money to pay off the ex-employee, with $1 million upfront and another $2 million to be paid out over five years. The ongoing investigation has reportedly uncovered other similar nondisclosure agreements between McMahon and other employees in the past.

The WWE board statement continued by saying, “McMahon will retain his role and responsibilities related to WWE’s creative content during this period and remains committed to cooperating with the review underway.”

WWE announced that McMahon will appear on SmackDown tonight at 8 p.m. ET live on FOX.

McMahon has been company chairman since buying the company from his father in 1982. Revenue last year surpassed $1 billion for the first time. WWE stars who have become household names in entertainment include Hulk Hogan, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and John Cena.