Vince McMahon resigns from TKO, WWE following sex trafficking lawsuit

Vince McMahon resigns

Vince McMahon, who has dominated the world of professional wrestling for half a century, taking his father’s regional territory to a global worldwide phenomenon, has resigned a day after the horrific details of a lawsuit alleging that he sexually trafficked a female employee emerged.

A statement from McMahon was released tonight:

“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 against these baseless accusations, and look forward to clearing my name. 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, effectively immediately.”

The lawsuit, filed by former WWE employee Janel Grant, accuses McMahon of a range of disturbing behaviors. Grant alleges she was a victim of physical and emotional abuse, sexual assault, and trafficking while working at WWE. The lawsuit describes McMahon recruiting people to have sex with Grant at WWE headquarters and subjecting her to “acts of extreme cruelty and degradation.”

Grant’s lawyer, Ann Callis, stated that the lawsuit aims to hold accountable the WWE executives involved, as well as the organization itself, for facilitating or ignoring the abuse and then attempting to cover it up. The lawsuit claims WWE financially benefited from a “commercial sex act venture orchestrated by McMahon” by having wrestling talent sign new contracts after presenting Grant “as a sexual commodity for their use.”

McMahon, who denies the allegations, stated that he is resigning out of respect for the WWE Universe, the TKO business, and its stakeholders. He expressed his intent to vigorously defend himself against the accusations and clear his name. The lawsuit also implicates John Laurinaitis, former Head of Talent Relations at WWE.

In addition to the sexual trafficking claims, the lawsuit includes details of McMahon allegedly passing around sexually explicit photos and videos of Ms. Grant to other men, including WWE employees. McMahon had previously stepped down as WWE’s chief executive in 2022 amid similar allegations of misconduct.

Ms. Grant is seeking compensation and aims to have a $3 million non-disclosure agreement voided, of which she alleges she received only $1 million. She waived her anonymity in the hope that her lawsuit would prevent other women from being victimized. TKO Group, WWE’s parent company, issued a statement acknowledging the seriousness of the allegations and stated that McMahon does not control TKO nor oversee the day-to-day operations of WWE​.

We will continue to follow this story as more becomes available.