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Vince McMahon steps aside as WWE CEO amid hush money investigation

A portrait of Vince McMahon

Jan 18, 2018; Stamford, CT, USA; WWE founder and chairman Vince McMahon poses for a portrait photo. McMahon announced that the XFL will re-launch in 2020. Mandatory Credit: Craig Ambrosio/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports

Vince McMahon is stepping back from day-to-day operations with World Wrestling Entertainment amid an investigation into an alleged hush money payment he made to a former employee.

A report from the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday stated that McMahon agreed to a secret $3 million settlement with a former WWE employee. McMahon and the woman, a paralegal who was hired by WWE in 2019, allegedly had an affair. The agreement, which was signed in January, stated that the woman could not discuss anything about her relationship with McMahon or make disparaging remarks about the 76-year-old.

On Friday, WWE issued a press release stating that a special committee of its Board of Directors is conducting an investigation. McMahon has “voluntarily stepped back from his responsibilities as CEO and Chairman of the Board until the conclusion of the investigation.” McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon, has been named interim CEO and Chairwoman.

WWE head of talent relations John Laurinaitis was also named in the WSJ report. An investigation is said to have begun in April and uncovered other nondisclosure agreements pertaining to misconduct claims from former employees against McMahon and Laurinaitis.

The press release stated that WWE will have no further comment until the investigation is concluded.

McMahon is also facing a lawsuit over the attempted revival of the XFL.

McMahon will retain his responsibilities related to WWE’s creative content.


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