WWE is being investigated by the company’s board for agreeing to pay a secret $3 million settlement to a former employee Vince McMahon allegedly had an affair with, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The exclusive deal is the latest document that prevents the former employee from discussing her relationship with Mr. McMahon or disparaging him according to the Journal.
The Journal reports that John Laurinaitis, the company’s head of talent relations, has a nondisclosure agreement that was signed in April. The company began investigating claims that Mr. McMahon had been sexually harassing female talent in April and other claims of misconduct from former employees were also found against him.
The WWE was sent an email on March 30 that alleged that Vince McMahon, who is 76 and the ex- CEO of the company, hired a female employee “at a salary of $100,000 but increased it to $200,000 after beginning a sexual relationship with her.” The email also alleges that McMahon gave the former employee, who is 41 and was hired as a paralegal, like “a toy” to Mr. Laurinaitis.
CNN asked the WWE for comment but they did not immediately respond. However, a company spokesperson said that the WWE is cooperating with the investigation and that McMahon’s relationship to the former employee was consensual.
WWE notes that their board is made of up WWE executives and even members of McMahon’s own family like Stephanie McMahon. That includes Paul Levesque, her husband and former wrestler who goes by the stage name Triple H. McMahon has the majority of the shareholders’ voting power.
McMahon has been in various roles within the WWE for decades. “The Game” is a living legend and wrestling icon.
The CEO of the company has helped to monetize the WWE’s media presence. McMahon has also helped with creating famous wrestlers, like The Rock, John Cena and Stone Cold Steve Austin, who have become bigger than the WWE itself.