As noted, Vince McMahon is reportedly being investigated by the WWE board of directors over cash settlements made to former employees over alleged misconduct. WWE Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis is also named in one of the settlements.
According to Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston, WWE has sent an internal memo to staff addressing the situation. “The Wall Street Journal has published a report about WWE with allegations that we and our Board of Directors take seriously,” the memo reportedly said. “We are cooperating fully with the independent investigation initiated by our Board of Directors.”
The investigation began in April after the WWE board was made aware of a $3 million settlement between McMahon and a former paralegal for the company with whom McMahon allegedly had an affair. The settlement was from January of 2022, and a statement from the WWE board claims that the relationship was consensual. Upon further investigation, there were numerous settlements with former female employees to silence allegations of misconduct, which is when Laurinaitis’ name entered the picture.
All the settlements, including the one involving Laurinaitis, were paid by McMahon using personal funds. McMahon’s attorney Jerry McDevitt has corroborated this in a statement, saying that “WWE never paid any monies” to alleged victims.
The investigation is now widening in scope to look into WWE’s human resource programs and overall corporate culture. Board member Man Jit Singh is leading the investigation for the 12-person board of directors, which still includes McMahon family members Stephanie McMahon and her husband Paul Levesque. Stephanie stepped away from her corporate duties as WWE Chief Brand Officer in May, one month after the investigation began, citing a desire to spend time with her family.
Neither Vince McMahon nor John Laurinaitis has commented on the investigation.