Prosecutors in New York have been speaking to women who have accused former WWE chairman Vince McMahon of sexual misconduct, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Over the summer, feds executed a search warrant for McMahon’s phone and served him a subpoena for documents related to allegations of “rape, sex trafficking, sexual assault, commercial sex transaction, harassment or discrimination” against current or former WWE employees, according to the WSJ exclusive.
McMahon resigned from his roles within WWE and its parent company TKO Holdings after former employee Janel Grant filed a lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault and trafficking. He has denied the allegations, while the company has not addressed them.
“I intend to vigorously defend myself against these baseless accusations, and look forward to clearing my name,” McMahon said, per WSJ.
The investigation began in 2022, when WSJ reported that McMahon paid hush money to his accusors while he was CEO. McMahon previously stepped down from WWE in July of that year after the scandal came to light.
WSJ said that prosecutors were investigating the payouts, and a grand jury subpoena sought communication between McMahon and the women who levied the allegations, including Grant.
The Wall Street Journal also reported that the other women named in the subpoena include:
- A WWE contractor whom McMahon allegedly sent unsolicited nude photos and sexually harassed;
- A former WWE wrestler who said McMahon coerced her into giving him oral sex;
- Former WWE referee Rita Chatterton, who publicly accused McMahon of raping her;
- A spa manager who said McMahon assaulted her at a Southern California resort; and
- A former WWE employee who alleged the head of talent relations at the company at the time, John Laurinaitis, demoted her after she broke off an affair with him.
McMahon has denied Chatterton’s rape claim — “Mr. McMahon denies and always has denied raping Ms. Chatterton. And he settled the case solely to avoid the cost of litigation,” his lawyer Jerry McDevitt said — but has not addressed the other allegations.
Grant’s suit claims that McMahon pressured or forced Grant to have a sexual relationship with Laurinitis, and that McMahon and Laurinitis allegedly sexually assaulted Grant in the WWE office during work hours.
Edward Brennan, Laurinitis’ lawyer, seemingly corroborated claims from the lawsuit in a statement to Vice News, but insists that his client is a victim.
“Mr. Laurinaitis denies the allegations in the misguided complaint and will be vigorously defending these charges in Court, not the media,” Brennan told Vice News. “Like the Plaintiff, Mr. Laurinaitis is a victim in this case, not a predator. The truth will come out.”