WWE founder Vince McMahon resigns from post amid sexual misconduct allegations

Author: Editors Desk Source: The Guardian
January 27, 2024 at 10:04
McMahon has faced allegations of sexual misconduct in the past. Photograph: Jessica Hill/AP
McMahon has faced allegations of sexual misconduct in the past. Photograph: Jessica Hill/AP

Wrestling mogul is accused of physical and emotional abuse and sexual assault and trafficking by former employee
World Wrestling Entertainment founder Vince McMahon resigned from his post with the organization and its parent company on Friday amid sexual misconduct allegations against him by a former employee. He has denied the allegations.

WWE’s president, Nick Khan, wrote in an email to employees announcing the 78-year-old’s departure, noting he’d be resigning from his roles as TKO executive chairman and on the TKO board of directors and that he’d no longer have a role with WWE, per NBC News. (Last year, TKO Group Holdings was put together when WWE merged with Endeavor’s Ultimate Fighting Championship.)

Earlier this week, former WWE employee Janel Grant filed a lawsuit claiming she was “the victim of physical and emotional abuse, sexual assault and trafficking at WWE”. The suit alleges that McMahon forced Grant into a sexual relationship, offering her a job and promotions in exchange, and distributed sexual images and videos of her to a variety of people – including fellow WWE employees, according to a report in Time.

Grant’s attorney Ann Callis told CNN on Thursday that the lawsuit seeks to “hold accountable two WWE executives who sexually assaulted and trafficked Plaintiff Janel Grant, as well as the organization that facilitated or turned a blind eye to the abuse and then swept it under the rug”.

McMahon has denied the allegations, saying in a statement on Friday: “I stand by my prior statement that Ms Grant’s lawsuit is replete with lies, obscene made-up instances that never occurred, and is a vindictive distortion of the truth. I intend to vigorously defend myself against these baseless accusations, and look forward to clearing my name.”

He continued: “However, out of respect for the WWE Universe, the extraordinary TKO business and its board members and shareholders, partners and constituents, and all of the employees and Superstars who helped make WWE into the global leader it is today, I have decided to resign from my executive chairmanship and the TKO board of directors, effective immediately,” the statement continued.

McMahon took over the WWE in 1982 from his father and founder of the then World Wrestling Federation, Vincent J McMahon. In July 2022, McMahon retired from his role as CEO and chairman amid allegations of sexual misconduct. After an investigation into those allegations by the WWE was closed in November 2022, McMahon returned to the WWE’s board in January 2023.
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