April 15, 2024

WWE founder Vince McMahon resigned as chairman of TKO Group Holdings Friday after a former WWE worker  accused him and one other former government of sexual assault and trafficking in a graphic federal lawsuit.

The 67-page lawsuit, filed by Janel Grant on Thursday, incorporates severe allegations of sexual misconduct, together with that McMahon provided her as much as a star wrestler for intercourse, and coerced her right into a sexual relationship to maintain her job and get promotions. The lawsuit additionally alleges McMahon, who’s now 78, shared pornographic photos and movies of her with different males and WWE staff.

In a press release despatched to a number of retailers Friday asserting his resignation, McMahon continued to take care of his innocence, denying wrongdoing. 

McMahon stepped down as CEO in 2022 amid an investigation into allegations that coincide with these within the lawsuit.

Grant started working for McMahon in 2019 after experiencing monetary hardship and profound grief following the lack of each of her dad and mom. McMahon promised her long-term employment with WWE. Whereas Grant later got here to be taught she would want to carry out sexual acts to maintain her job, “she had no thought how sordid it could grow to be, nor how the psychological torture and bodily violence would go away her feeling helpless, remoted and trapped,” mentioned the lawsuit — which detailed among the grotesque and disturbing circumstances Grant says she was subjected to. 

Former WWE government John Laurinaitis can be a defendant within the lawsuit. The doc particulars an occasion by which McMahon and Laurinaitis sexually assaulted Grant in Laurinaitis’ workplace whereas their colleagues had been at work. She begged them to cease as they responded issues like “no means sure.”

Whereas Scripps Information doesn’t sometimes title accusers in sexual abuse instances, Grant’s representatives mentioned she wished to go public, in keeping with a press release obtained by The Related Press.

“Ms. Grant hopes that her lawsuit will stop different ladies from being victimized,” her legal professional, Ann Callis, mentioned within the assertion. “The group is nicely conscious of Mr. McMahon’s historical past of wicked conduct, and it is time that they take accountability for the misconduct of its management.”

The WWE can be named as a defendant within the lawsuit.

“WWE benefited financially from the industrial intercourse act enterprise orchestrated by McMahon, together with by having wrestling expertise, comparable to WWE Famous person, signal new contracts with WWE after McMahon offered Plaintiff as a sexual commodity for his or her use,” mentioned the lawsuit.

WWE’s dad or mum firm TKO Group — which was not too long ago fashioned by a merger between WWE and UFC — mentioned in a press release obtained by the Wall Avenue Journal that McMahon “doesn’t management TKO nor does he oversee the day-to-day operations of WWE.” 

The Wall Avenue Journal was first to report the information.

“Whereas this matter pre-dates our TKO government crew’s tenure on the firm, we take Ms. Grant’s horrific allegations very significantly and are addressing this matter internally,” TKO Group mentioned.

Representatives for McMahon additionally spoke out.

“This lawsuit is replete with lies, obscene made-up situations that by no means occurred, and a vindictive distortion of the reality,” a spokesperson for McMahon mentioned in a press release. “He’ll vigorously defend himself.”

When she left the corporate, Grant was pressured to signal a nondisclosure settlement to maintain quiet, in alternate for funds from McMahon that had been imagined to complete $3 million, although she claims the funds stopped prematurely.

Grant is looking for an unspecified quantity in financial damages together with her lawsuit, and asking that the courtroom void the $3 million nondisclosure settlement, of which she claims she solely obtained $1 million.


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