This week, The Wall Street Journal dropped a little bombshell on the world of sports entertainment with an investigation far, far away from the WWE rings.
In fact, the financial publication revealed that Vince McMahon, the man behind WWE, and John Laurinaitis, one of his high-ranking executives, are currently under investigation following a secret agreement with a former employee of the company to hide intimate relationships with the two men
The end of Vince McMahon?
WWE’s board is investigating a secret $3 million settlement CEO Vince McMahon struck with a former employee with whom he allegedly had an affair, according to documents and people familiar with the matter https://t.co/W9sDcsaJEf
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) June 16, 2022
In electronic communications dated March 30, an anonymous source allegedly disclosed to the WWE Board of Directors that a former WWE employee, a paralegal, had been in 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, said employee would have seen his salary double from $100,000 to $200,000 per year during this relationship. Additionally, the woman reportedly signed a secret $3 million agreement not to reveal the nature of her relationship with McMahon and Laurinaitis.
The story, as well as the deliveries, are said to date back to 2019.
The out-of-court letterhead was delivered to WWE’s Board of Directors on June 12 and an outside firm is investigating whether McMahon used the company’s financial resources to pay for this or other deals.
In fact, since the launch of the Wall Street Journal, old stories have resurfaced, including a relationship with former WWE referee Rita Marie Chatterton, who allegedly accused McMahon of forcing her to have sex with her in a limousine in 1986.
At the time, the story didn’t make too many waves as McMahon defended himself by pointing out that the relationship was consensual and that his only fault here was adultery with his wife Linda McMahon.
Since Chatterton is still alive, she could return to the public eye with her story and, perhaps with it, generate more testimony exposing the actions of the 76-year-old woman.
For now, the investigation is still very young, but it comes after Stephanie McMahon’s voluntary departure from her father’s organization a few weeks ago. Atop the board for several years, the only daughter of the McMahon family reportedly left her seat to be with her family earlier this spring, joining her husband Paul Levesque. he is also on sabbatical from his executive positions in WWE due to his serious heart problems.
At the moment, Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis do not have criminal charges against them. The investigation is internal to WWE and it is above all the origin of the money used that is questioned and not the consensual nature of the relationships.
On the other hand, the anonymous source mentions a climate of fear and intimidation that could, in the course of the investigation, reveal other shortcomings of the McMahon administration.
In the business world, CEOs of companies even bigger than WWE have lost their jobs over minor deals. At 76 years old, it is not unreasonable to believe that this saga will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for McMahon, who for decades has avoided scandals on several fronts. He considers, in particular, the distribution and use of steroids by his wrestlers in the early 1990s.
That said, although WWE is currently silent on the case despite its collaboration with the investigative firm, Laurinaitis’s future with the organization is more than uncertain. According to inside sources, he and McMahon will be present as usual at the Smackdown tapings on Friday. On the other hand, if a header lands, Laurinaitis’s will hit the ground long before Vince McMahon’s.
In addition, in the wake of this scandal, the rumors about the imminent sale of the organization will accelerate, since it is an open secret that a buyer is being sought for WWE with the inevitable retirement of the creator of the organization as we know it today.
This story has not finished making people talk.
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