Vince McMahon Resigns Following News of Sex Trafficking Lawsuit
Vince McMahon, the decades-long force behind the WWE, has resigned a day after news broke of a former employee filing a lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault and sex trafficking.
In a staff memo confirmed by multiple outlets — including The New York Times and ESPN — WWE president Nick Khan wrote, “I wanted to inform you that Vince McMahon has tendered his resignation from his positions as TKO Executive Chairman and on the TKO Board of Directors. He will no longer have a role with TKO Group holdings or WWE.”
McMahon issued a statement to the media denying the sexual assault and sex trafficking allegations. He referred to the allegations as “a vindictive distortion of the truth. McMahon further noted, “I intend to vigorously defend myself against these baseless accusations, and look forward to clearing my name.”
Details of the Lawsuit
News of the lawsuit was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. The publication has broke news related to McMahon's alleged sexual misconduct since June 2022. WSJ reports that Janel Grant is the former WWE employee who filed the sex trafficking lawsuit. Up until now, all former WWE employees who signed nondisclosure agreements regarding McMahon’s behavior and received hush money have not been named.
This lawsuit lists in graphic detail various incidents Grant allegedly experienced during her employment with WWE. They include disturbing text messages from McMahon, who also allegedly shared nude photos and video of Grant with other WWE executives and wrestlers.
One of those wrestlers in question appears to be Lesnar. WSJ notes that McMahon had Grant create “personalized sexual content” for a WWE talent he was trying to re-sign. While Lesnar isn’t named in the lawsuit, this talent WWE was trying to re-sign is described as a UFC fighter and WWE talent. WSJ says people familiar with this situation say that talent is Lesnar.
On top of the “personalize sexual content,” McMahon told Grant via text in August 2021 that part of Lesnar’s deal to re-sign with WWE “was f—ing U.”
WSJ further notes McMahon “recruited people to have sex with Grant.” Among those people were John Laurinaitis, the former head of talent relations at WWE, who is named as a defendant in the sex trafficking lawsuit. Laurinaitis has also been previously mentioned in other reports related to McMahon’s alleged sexual misconduct.
McMahon announced his retirement from WWE in July 2022 while the company’s board was investigating him for alleged misconduct. However, WSJ included in their latest report, “McMahon, who was the controlling shareholder of WWE, returned to WWE in early 2023, elected himself to the board and replaced several directors. Upon his return, he negotiated a sale of WWE to Endeavor Group, owner of the UFC mixed martial-arts league.”