This week, the Wall Street Journal dropped a little bombshell into the world of sports and entertainment with an investigation far, far away from the WWE rings.
The financial outlet revealed that Vince McMahon, the man behind WWE, and John Laurinaitis, one of its high-ranking executives, are currently under investigation following a secret agreement with a former employee of the company in order to conceal intimate relationships. with the two men.
The end of Vince McMahon?
WWE’s board of directors is investigating a secret $ 3 million deal that longtime CEO Vince McMahon reached with a former employee he was allegedly having an affair with, according to documents and people familiar with the https issue: //t.co/W9sDcsaJEf
– The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) June 16, 2022
In electronic communications on March 30, an anonymous source allegedly revealed to the WWE Board of Directors that a former employee of the company, a paralegal, had had an intimate and sexual relationship with Vince McMahon during his time with WWE, in addition to sharing the same kind of intimacy with John Laurinaitis, the director of employee relations.
According to information obtained by the Wall Street Journal, the aforementioned employee allegedly saw his salary double from $ 100,000 to $ 200,000 annually during this report. In addition, the woman reportedly signed a secret $ 3 million deal not to disclose the nature of her relationships with McMahon and Laurinaitis.
The story, as well as the episodes, date back to 2019.
The out-of-court letterhead was handed over to the WWE Board of Directors on June 12, and an outside company is investigating whether McMahon used the company’s financial resources to pay for this deal or other arrangements. .
Indeed, since the publication of the Wall Street Journal, old stories have resurfaced, including an affair with former WWE referee Rita Marie Chatterton who allegedly accused McMahon of forcing sex with her in a limo in 1986.
At the time, the story didn’t make too many waves since McMahon defended himself by pointing out that the relationship was consensual and that his only fault here was adultery with his wife Linda McMahon.
Given that Chatterton is still alive, she could come back to the fore with her story and, perhaps with it, request more testimony exposing the 76-year-old’s actions.
For now, the investigation is still very young, but comes in the wake of Stephanie McMahon’s voluntary departure from her father’s organization a few weeks ago. High on the board for several years, the only daughter in the McMahon family would be leaving her post to be with her family earlier this spring, thus joining her husband Paul Levesque. He is also on a gap year from his WWE executive positions due to his severe heart problems.
For the time being, Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis have no criminal charges against them. The investigation is internal to the WWE and it is above all the source of the money used to be questioned and not the consensual nature of the relationships.
The anonymous source, on the other hand, mentions a climate of fear and intimidation that could, in the course of the investigation, bring to light other shortcomings of the McMahon administration.
In the business world, presidents of even larger WWE corporations have lost their positions to smaller deals. At 76, it’s not unlikely to believe this saga will be the last straw for McMahon, who has avoided scandals on multiple fronts for decades. Consider, in particular, the distribution and use of steroids by its wrestlers in the early 1990s.
That said, although WWE is not commenting on the case for the time being despite its collaboration with the investigative firm, Laurinaitis’s future is more than uncertain with the organization. According to inside sources, he and McMahon will be in attendance as usual at Smackdown tapes on Friday. If, on the other hand, a header falls, Laurinaitis’s will hit the ground well before Vince McMahon’s.
Also, in the wake of this scandal, rumors of the organization’s imminent sale will increase as it is an open secret that a buyer is being sought for WWE with the inevitable withdrawal of the creator’s organization as we know it today.
This story has not finished making people talk.