Well, that didn't take long. A few weeks ago, Vince McMahon, the eccentric CEO of the WWE, came under fire for allegedly paying a former female employee $3 million for an affair. Consequently, McMahon stepped down as CEO of the company (while still retaining his duties as the sole creator and producer of WWE's various shows) to allow the board of directors to investigate his alleged impropriety. McMahon is no saint, so many wrestling pundits—and anyone with half a brain—assumed that several other women would eventually be uncovered or come forward.
The Wall Street Journal now reports that McMahon's various hush-money payments over the last ten years have reached $12 million across four different women. The worst story of the bunch pertains to an anonymous female wrestler who alleges McMahon fired her after she ended their sexual relationship.
Vince McMahon, the longtime CEO of WWE who stepped down in June, paid four women at least $12 million total over the past 16 years to hide numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
McMahon was also being investigated by the WWE's board after was discovered in April he paid $3 million to cover up an affair with a former employee. This new report indicates McMahon covered up more.
So far, here are the four settlements McMahon reportedly paid out, per the Journal:
A $7.5 million payment in 2018 to a former wrestler who alleged McMahon "coerced her into giving him oral sex and then demoted her and, ultimately, declined to renew her contract in 2005 after she resisted further sexual encounters."
A roughly $1 million payment in 2008 to a WWE contractor who "presented the company with unsolicited nude photos of Mr. McMahon she reported receiving from him and alleged that he had sexually harassed her on the job."
A $1 million payment in 2006 to a former 10-year WWE manager who alleged McMahon "initiated a sexual relationship with her."
The $3 million payment in 2022 to the former paralegal who allegedly had an affair with McMahon. The board concluded the relationship between McMahon and this woman was consensual.
McMahon voluntarily stepped down on June 17 following reports of the investigation as well as the alleged settlement. He also pledged his "complete cooperation to the investigation" and "pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are" in a statement released by the company. McMahon's daughter, Stephanie McMahon, was named interim CEO and interim Chairwoman after serving as the company's chief brand officer as well as a former wrestler.
To put the amount of money in perspective, McMahon paid $10 million more in hush money than he did to purchase rival wrestling promotion WCW.