WWE founder Vince McMahon has resigned from his position as executive chairman of WWE and UFC parent company TKO Group Holdings following allegations of sex trafficking, sexual assault, and physical abuse.
McMahon denied the allegations of a lawsuit filed against him by Janel Grant, a former WWE staffer.
Nevertheless, he resigned from his position.
“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,” McMahon said, according to Deadline.
“I intend to vigorously defend myself against these baseless accusations, and look forward to clearing my name,” he added.
“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,” he continued.
Vince McMahon in new statement as he officially resigns from TKO:
“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… pic.twitter.com/xpEK5qnNpn
— Wrestle Ops (@WrestleOps) January 27, 2024
WWE founder Vince McMahon resigns from TKO following sex trafficking claims | Just The News https://t.co/zVyGcQ02CN
— John Solomon (@jsolomonReports) January 27, 2024
McMahon’s abrupt exit was spawned by ex-WWE staffer Janel Grant’s detailed and shocking sexual assault suit of January 25. His resignation came after a long day of discussions and deliberations among top players at TKO and WWE as the blast radius of Grant’s legal action became apparent and the corporate situation increasingly untenable for McMahon.
Explicit in its depiction of Grant as a constantly abused sexual punching bag for McMahon and various WWE executives and at least one unnamed “WWE Superstar” during her time at the company from 2019 to 2022, the suit seeks various damages and a voiding of the NDA the former staffer was forced to sign. A McMahon spokesperson on Thursday called Grant’s lawsuit “replete with lies” and declared their client would fight it in court.
Today TKO referred Deadline to McMahon’s statement when contracted for more on the situation. As for who may take over McMahon’s now vacated executive chairman gig at the company or even if that position will continue, it is all TBD, sources says.
WWE boss Nick Khan tonight told staffers in an internal email that McMahon had resigned, and “will no longer have a role with TKO Group Holdings or WWE.”
While sudden, McMahon’s fall from his TKO perch amidst the sexual abuse allegations follows his ouster in 2022 from the WWE he co-founded due to “alleged executive misconduct.” That misconduct, which named WWE talent relations chief John Laurinaitis, came as scores of multi-million dollar payoffs to former female employees and others were made public.
— Censored Men (@CensoredMen) January 27, 2024
They got him
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) January 27, 2024
Per Daily Mail:
Grant, who previously agreed to a $3million settlement in exchange for signing a nondisclosure agreement in 2022, filed a new lawsuit against McMahon, the WWE and a former executive this week.
In that filing, which was obtained by DailyMail.com, Grant claims McMahon stopped making payments after the initial $1m installment, and she now seeks to void that agreement.
Furthermore, Grant claims she suffered bruising and bleeding after McMahon forcefully penetrated her with sex toys, which he named after his wrestlers.Advertisement
She also alleges that McMahon and another WWE executive locked her in a room at the WWE’s Stamford, Connecticut headquarters in June of 2021 and took turns sexually assaulting her during the work day.
The married McMahon is additionally accused of trafficking Grant to other men and sharing nude photographs of the plaintiff. Grant is seeking unspecified damages.
The WWE previously described McMahon’s sexual relationship with Grant as ‘consensual’ in a 2022 statement.
‘I wanted to inform you that Vince McMahon has tendered his resignation from his positions as TKO Executive Chairman and on the TKO Board of Directors,’ WWE president and TKO board member Nick Khan said in an email to staff on Friday night.
‘He will no longer have a role with TKO Group Holdings or WWE.’