WWE's Vince McMahon accused of sex trafficking by former staff member in new court filing

WWE chairman Vince McMahon in 2007. Picture: Bryan Bedder/Getty ImagesWWE chairman Vince McMahon in 2007. Picture: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images
WWE chairman Vince McMahon in 2007. Picture: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images | Getty Images

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A new court filing has revealed that Vince McMahon, formerly of the WWE, is accused of sex trafficking and workplace abuse.

Vince McMahon, the founder of World Wrestling Entertainment, as part of TKO, is facing a fresh set of allegations from a former WWE staff member accusing him of sex trafficking, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal earlier this afternoon.

The revelations come after a new court filing was obtained by the WSJ, in which former employee Janel Grant claims McMahon sexually exploited her and trafficked her to other men within the company, under the promise of career advancement. Grant claims that McMahon eventually subjected her to abuse, leading to her leaving the company.

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The lawsuit describes explicit details of Grant's interactions with McMahon, including alleged sexual assaults in WWE's headquarters, explicit text messages, and McMahon sharing intimate photos and videos of her without consent. Grant claims that others at WWE were aware of McMahon's misconduct but worked to conceal it. The lawsuit alleges that the company diverted attention away from McMahon's abuse by focusing on accounting for the payouts.

The lawsuit implicates former WWE executive John Laurinaitis, accusing him of participating in the abuse. McMahon allegedly recruited people, including Laurinaitis, to have sex with Grant. Grant asserts that McMahon controlled her professional and personal life, subjecting her to degradation. She claims that McMahon forced her to create explicit content for a WWE superstar and shared it with him, with the court filing going into graphic detail into the abuse suffered during her tenure with the company.

In 2022, McMahon reportedly signed a $3 million NDA with Grant to prevent her from discussing their relationship or disparaging him. However, Grant claims that McMahon stopped making payments under the agreement after the initial $1 million instalment. The lawsuit seeks to void the NDA and claims unspecified financial damages.

The lawsuit seeks a judgment that the NDA is invalid under state and federal law. It also seeks compensatory and punitive damages under various laws, including the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

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Federal prosecutors have been investigating the payouts, and in July 2023, agents executed a search warrant for McMahon's phone. As of now, no charges have been brought.

TKO issue statement - "we take Ms. Grant’s horrific allegations very seriously"

In a statement provided to Variety, TKO, the media group both the UFC and WWE fall under, stated that "“Mr. McMahon does not control TKO nor does he oversee the day-to-day operations of WWE. While this matter predates our TKO executive team’s tenure at the company, we take Ms. Grant’s horrific allegations very seriously and are addressing this matter internally.”

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