After four decades in the spotlight, former WWE CEO Vince McMahon was forced to step down earlier this year due to a sexual misconduct scandal. The media got a whiff of it after the results from WWE’s internal investigation, which was ordered by the board of directors, were made available to the public. The report confirmed that then Chairman and CEO of WWE, McMahon, had made improperly documented payments with company funds to cover up his sexual harassment allegations.
Now, less than six months after that incident, Vince McMahon is back in the spotlight. And we’re not talking about Vice’s documentary about him, which premiered a few days ago, on December 13.
Vince McMahon has also told people that he intends to make a comeback at WWE, saying he got bad advice from people close to him to step down and that he now believes the allegations and investigations would have blown over had he stayed. https://t.co/xSH94LMCFc https://t.co/D851vN0GV5
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) December 13, 2022
Joe Palazzo and Ted Mann from The Wall Street Journal are now following up on the initial McMahon story they broke a few months ago. Their latest piece sheds light on two legal claims made against the former creative director of WWE, for previous sexual assault allegations.
The first one is from former WWE referee Rita Chatterton’s legal representatives who sent a demand letter to McMahon’s legal team. The request is for $11.75 million in reparation for Chatterton’s decade-old allegations. Her story resurfaced after the WSJ's initial report, with corroboration from former wrestler Leonard Inzitari. Inzitari is publicly supporting her story in a recent New York Magazine piece, claiming she was sexually assaulted in McMahon’s limousine in 1986.
The second one refers to a separate email Mr. McMahon’s attorney received in November. In it, Michael Bressler, a lawyer for a former manager of a California spa resort, claims his client was sexually assaulted by Vince McMahon back in 2011. The incident was reported at the time but nothing was made of it. So much so, that sources close to the story claim that the victim’s husband had shown up to a WWE live event with a baseball bat looking for McMahon.
Regardless of the legal outcome, these allegations are incredibly damaging to the legacy of Mr. McMahon. Despite this, reports say Vince is attempting to come back to his former role as the head of the WWE.
The company has enjoyed a lot of success since McMahon's daughter Stephanie McMahon took over the CEO role alongside Nick Khan. Her spouse, Triple H, took over as the creative director, but it appears that Vince McMahon remains a powerful figure.
McMahon is still a majority owner of WWE stock and still has the final say on potential sales and his future. The Board of Directors might not be brave enough to willingly risk losing the audience’s goodwill and reinstall the former Chairman with unsettled allegations looming above his head. Despite this, Vince McMahon will continue to be seen as one of the best pro wrestling promoters of all time.
As one of the pioneers in the professional wrestling business, McMahon is responsible for making the WWE the global juggernaut we have come to know today.