The Wall Street Journal, which exclusively reported WWE’s investigation a $3 million hush-money settlement paid by McMahon to a woman over an alleged affair, is now reporting that the 76-year-old paid more than $12 million in hush money to four women during the past 16 years in an effort to suppress allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity.
All four of the women were formerly affiliated with WWE and signed agreements with McMahon prohibiting them from discussing possible legal claims or their relationship with him publicly, sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to the Journal.
The new reported settlements include McMahon paying $7.5 million to a former WWE wrestler who claimed McMahon coerced her into giving him oral sex and then demoted her before ultimately deciding not to renew her contract after she resisted additional sexual encounters, sources familiar with the situation confirmed to the Journal.
A WWE contractor also claimed that McMahon sent her unsolicited nude photos of himself to her and sexually harassed her on the job, which resulted in a payout of “roughly $1 million,” according to sources.
A former manager who had previously worked for McMahon for 10 years alleged that McMahon initiated a sexual relationship with her and paid $1 million in hush money, sources with knowledge confirmed to the Journal.
Last month, WWE announced McMahon had voluntarily stepped down from his responsibilities amid an ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct and would be replaced by his daughter, Stephanie, on an interim basis.
“I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation. I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are,” McMahon said in the joint release on behalf of WWE and its Board of Directors.