Vince McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), is embroiled in a new lawsuit alleging sex trafficking and abuse, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. Janel Grant, a former WWE employee, has accused McMahon of sexually exploiting her with promises of career advancement and trafficking her to other men within the company.
The lawsuit, filed in Connecticut federal court, details Grant’s allegations of being sexually assaulted by McMahon and another WWE executive at the company’s headquarters. It also claims that McMahon shared explicit images and videos of Grant without her consent and directed her to engage in sexual acts with other WWE employees and stars.
In 2022, Grant signed a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) in which McMahon agreed to pay $3 million in exchange for her silence about their relationship. However, McMahon allegedly ceased payments after the initial $1 million installment, prompting Grant to seek to void the NDA and claim unspecified financial damages.
McMahon’s attorney, Jerry McDevitt, and representatives for WWE have not immediately responded to requests for comment. In a previous statement, WWE described the relationship between Grant and McMahon as consensual.
The allegations come after a board investigation, initiated by an anonymous tip, uncovered other payments by McMahon to women who accused him of sexual misconduct. The probe led to McMahon’s brief retirement in July 2022, following reports of his payouts to multiple women.
Federal prosecutors are currently investigating the payouts, with no charges brought against McMahon as of yet. In July 2023, agents executed a search warrant for McMahon’s phone and served him with a grand-jury subpoena.
Grant’s lawsuit brings to light disturbing claims of sexual misconduct and potential trafficking within WWE, complicating the legal landscape for 78-year-old McMahon. The case continues to unfold amid McMahon’s return to WWE and his involvement in significant business deals, including the sale of WWE to Endeavor Group and a lucrative Netflix contract.