Vince McMahon Resigns Amid Explosive Lawsuit Alleging Sex Trafficking and Abuse

STAMFORD, Conn. – Vince McMahon, the founder and former chairman of WWE, has resigned from his positions within TKO Group and severed ties with both TKO and the wrestling company his family established. This decision comes on the heels of a lawsuit against McMahon, WWE, and former WWE executive John Laurinaitis, alleging sex trafficking, abuse, and other charges. McMahon, who was a board member of TKO and its executive chairman, vehemently denies the allegations, stating that the lawsuit is filled with falsehoods. However, out of respect for TKO’s board members, shareholders, and the WWE Universe, McMahon has chosen to step down from his executive chairmanship and the TKO board of directors.

Janel Grant filed the lawsuit in Connecticut, claiming that she was introduced to McMahon in the summer of 2019 during a difficult time in her life. Grant alleges that McMahon offered her a job at WWE, but it soon became reliant on a sexual relationship with him. Feeling coerced due to the potential impact on her career and reputation, Grant claims she felt trapped in the relationship, enduring acts of extreme cruelty and degradation. WWE’s board initiated an investigation into McMahon’s alleged misconduct in 2022 following an anonymous tip about his relationship with Grant. The probe uncovered substantial hush money payments, totaling more than $12 million to at least four women. Despite her willingness to cooperate, Grant asserts that she was never interviewed as part of the investigation.

McMahon stepped down as WWE chairman in the summer of 2022 but returned in January 2023 to assist with the company’s sale. However, after the sale to Endeavor and the subsequent merger with the Ultimate Fighting Championship into TKO Group, McMahon lost his controlling shareholder status. Further complicating matters, McMahon faced a grand jury subpoena and search warrant in July 2023, believed to be linked to the ongoing investigation into his conduct. McMahon has consistently denied any wrongdoing. TKO acknowledged the potential risks associated with McMahon’s investigations in recent filings. The repercussions of these allegations are already being felt, with Slim Jim announcing the suspension of its advertising partnership with WWE.

Since acquiring WWE from his father in 1982, McMahon transformed the organization into a global powerhouse, dominating the professional wrestling industry. Initially working behind the scenes or as a play-by-play announcer, McMahon later embraced an on-screen villainous persona known as “Mr. McMahon” and engaged in memorable rivalries with wrestlers like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. While his on-screen appearances waned in recent years, McMahon’s influence on the company remained palpable. Nevertheless, it now seems that McMahon’s significant role in the organization he helped shape has reached its end.