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Former WWE CEO Vince McMahon under federal investigation for sexual abuse, sex trafficking allegations: report


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Vince McMahon, the former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO, is reportedly the subject of a federal investigation, according to a report. Prosecutors are working to determine if any federal laws were broken when an alleged sexual assault and sex trafficking possibly occurred.

A lawsuit was recently filed against WWE, McMahon and a former company executive. A former employee filed the suit which raised sex abuse allegations against McMahon. Last week, McMahon stepped down from his position as executive chairman of the board of TKO, WWE’s parent company. He also no longer has any official role with WWE.

The Wall Street Journal was the first outlet to report the federal probe.

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Vince McMahon at a WrestleMania confernece

Vince McMahon attends a press conference to announce that WWE Wrestlemania 29 will be held at MetLife Stadium in 2013 at MetLife Stadium on Feb. 16, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images)

Over the past couple of months, federal authorities in New York have contacted the individuals who have raised the sexual misconduct claims against McMahon, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

McMahon has denied the accusations that have been made against him and expressed confidence that he will ultimately be absolved of any wrongdoing. 

“I intend to vigorously defend myself against these baseless accusations, and look forward to clearing my name,” McMahon said in an interview.

EX-WWE STAR DAVEY BOY SMITH JR REVEALS REACTION TO VINCE MCMAHON ALLEGATIONS

McMahon, TKO Group and WWE did not immediately respond Friday to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment on the probe.

Last summer, McMahon was subpoenaed for documents pertaining to any allegation of “rape, sex trafficking, sexual assault, commercial sex transaction, harassment or discrimination” against current or former WWE employees. Federal agents also executed a search warrant for the WWE founder’s phone.

Vince McMahon speaks at the 2014 International CES

WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon speaks at a news conference announcing the WWE Network at the 2014 International CES at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas on Jan. 8, 2014 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

McMahon does not currently face criminal charges in connection with the accusations in the lawsuit.

A lawyer for John Laurinaitis, a former WWE executive, also released a statement denying the accusations. Laurinaitis was also named in the lawsuit. “My client vigorously denies the allegations raised against him in this lawsuit. We will respond in the appropriate forum eventually,” the statement read.

Laurinaitis is a former wrestler and left WWE in 2022 after a lengthy tenure as a company executive. He has yet to publicly share details of his departure.

Vince McMahon at WrestleMania

WWE owner Vince McMahon enters the arena during WrestleMania at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, April 3, 2022. (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

Several allegations of sexual assault came to light during McMahon’s time with WWE.

Rita Chatterton raised one of the allegations in 1992, when she accused McMahon of rape. Although McMahon consistently denied any wrongdoing, he reached a multimillion-dollar settlement in 2022.

McMahon left WWE in 2022 amid an investigation by the company’s board of directors. The investigation found that McMahon had paid nearly $15 million in hush money to four women over 16 years who had made claims of sexual misconduct. 

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McMahon was reinstated to the company’s board in 2023, and he proceeded to negotiate a sale of WWE to Endeavor Group. The UFC mixed martial arts league is an Endeavor Group subsidiary. The deal formed a new public company called TKO Group, which now also serves as WWE’s parent organization.

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