WWE founder Vince McMahon resigns from all roles after sex trafficking allegations

Vince McMahon is gone from WWE and parent company TKO (Picture: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

WWE founder Vince McMahon has resigned from all roles amid allegations of rape and sex trafficking.

The 78-year-old businessman, who has denied the claims made against him, has announced his decision to leave his posts at WWE and its parent company TKO following a lawsuit filed this week.

He told Deadline in a statement: ‘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 billionaire faces claims in a lawsuit filed on January 25 by a former employee of WWE, who was based in the headquarters of the company when the alleged trafficking and assault took place.

McMahon had been serving as TKO’s executive chairman (Picture: WWE)

Janel Grant claims McMahon abused and sexually exploited her while he was chief executive, according to a lawsuit seen by Wall Street Journal.

Grant previously agreed to a $3million settlement in exchange for signing a non disclosure agreement in 2022. The new suit claims McMahon stopped sending payments after $1million, and Grant is claiming it’s now a void agreement.

Grant alleges that McMahon promised her career advancement, and then he allegedly exploited her and trafficked her to other men inside the company.

The graphic contents of the suit, filed in a Connecticut federal court, claim he forcefully used dildos on her which he named after WWE wrestlers, defecated on her head during a threesome, and also forced himself on her on multiple occasions.

The WWE board learnt of McMahon’s relationship with Grant after an anonymous tip off in 2022, and they launched an internal investigation which uncovered $14.6million in further alleged payments by him to women.

McMahon has described the lawsuit as ‘replete with lies’ (Picture: Jesse Grant/WireImage)

A spokesperson for TKO Group Holdings, which was formed under Endeavor following the WWE/UFC merger in September 2023, has said in a statement: ‘Mr. McMahon does not control TKO nor does he oversee the day-to-day operations of WWE.

‘While this matter predates our TKO executive team’s tenure at the company, we take Ms. Grant’s horrific allegations very seriously and are addressing this matter internally.’

A spokesperson for McMahon said: ‘This lawsuit is replete with lies, obscene made-up instances that never occurred, and a vindictive distortion of the truth. He will vigorously defend himself.’

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