April 14, 2024
Vince McMahon, former WWE executive, under federal investigation: sources

Former WWE executive and personality Vince McMahon, 78, is under a federal investigation as he battles sex trafficking allegations made by a former employee, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

The investigation stemmed from allegations of sexual misconduct made against McMahon by several women. “Sometime in the summer,” sources said, McMahon received a grand jury subpoena.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is leading the investigation, the existence of which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office declined to comment.

The nature of the investigation was not immediately clear, but it could be financial after the newspaper reported in 2022 that McMahon had agreed to pay more than $12 million over the past two decades to settle sexual misconduct allegations.

McMahon resigned from WWE last week after a former employee, Janelle Grant, accused him of subjecting her to “psychological torture and physical violence” while making “abusive sexual demands” in exchange for her continued employment. The lawsuit accused McMahon of trafficking Grant to other WWE employees and included graphic descriptions of alleged encounters with explicit text messages.

McMahon has denied Grant’s allegations and told the WSJ that the investigation would find no wrongdoing. He referred the outlet to last week’s statement.

Vince McMahon is seen during a ceremony to announce that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has joined TKO’s board of directors at the New York Stock Exchange on January 23, 2024 in New York City.

Michelle Farsi/Getty Images

“I stand by my prior statement that Ms. Grant’s lawsuit is filled with lies, obscene fabrications that never happened, and is a vindictive distortion of the truth. I intend to vigorously defend myself against these baseless allegations.” I am, and look forward to, my name being cleared,” McMahon said in a statement last week.

“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 the global leader it is today, I have decided to resign my On behalf of the Executive Chairman and the TKO Board of Directors, with immediate effect,” the statement continued.

An attorney for McMahon and a WWE spokesperson did not immediately respond to ABC News messages seeking comment.

McMahon worked with his father, Vincent J. McMahon, in the early 1980s. McMahon and over the next 40 years took the company from a regional power in the Northeast to a national and even global power in the wrestling business.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Source: abcnews.go.com

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