WWE CEO Vince McMahon retires amid allegations he raped a female referee and paid other female employees hush money after affairs – but insists he’s stepping down because he’s ‘approaching 77’
- McMahon announced today he was retiring from the industry he built
- He claimed it was due to him approaching ’77’ and made no mention of the allegations
- In June, the WWE board launched an investigation into claims he paid a former aide $3million in hush money to keep an affair quiet
- McMahon had hired the woman as a paralegal and doubled her salary from $100,000 to $200,00 when their romance ceased
- A 1992 allegation that he raped a female referee in a limousine then resurfaced
- McMahon has earned a reported $9billion from the WWE since 2009
- He is married to former Trump adviser Linda McMahon
WWE wrestling had been investigating Vince McMahon over sexual misconduct claims
WWE CEO Vince McMahon has retired amid allegations of sexual misconduct dating back decades.
McMahon, 77, had already stepped down from his role at WWE pending an investigation into allegations he paid women hush money after having affairs with them.
An old claim that he raped a female referee in his limo has also resurfaced as a result of the fresh scandal.
On Friday, McMahon’s agent announced that he was now retiring entirely from the industry that he built.
It’s unclear how it impacts the investigation into his alleged misconduct.
In a statement released by his attorney, he said: ‘As I approach 77 years old, I feel it’s time for me to retire as Chairman and CEO of WWE.
‘Throughout the years, it’s been a privilege to help WWE bring you joy, inspire you, thrill you, surprise you, and always entertain you.
‘I would like to thank my family for mightily contributing to our success, and I would also like to thank all of our past and present Superstars and employees for their dedication and passion for our brand.
‘Most importantly, I would like to thank our fans for allowing us into your homes every week and being your choice of entertainment.
‘I hold the deepest appreciation and admiration for our generations of fans all over the world who have liked, currently like, and sometimes even love our form of Sports Entertainment.’
He made no mention of the allegations against him.
McMahon was the unchallenged king of WWE until last month, when it was claimed he secretly paid a female employee millions of dollars in hush money after having an affair with her.
He was married – and still is – to former Trump aide Linda McMahon.
Rita Marie Chatterton, the first female WWE referee, claims McMahon raped her in his limo in 1986. She first made the allegation in 1992 but it has resurfaced amid new allegations of misconduct
In 1992, Rita Chatterton, now 64, the first female referee in the WWE, came forward to accuse McMahon of raping her in his limo in 1986. She appeared on Gerald Rivera’s TV show
The woman was a paralegal with whom McMahon is said to have had an affair. It’s unclear when the affair occurred, but McMahon allegedly doubled the woman’s salary from $100,000 to $200,000 when it began.
When their romance turned sour, he kept her quiet with a $3million payout, according to the allegations first reported to The Wall Street Journal.
The WWE board – which is largely made up of the McMahon family – began investigating the allegations and McMahon stepped down.
His daughter Stephanie stepped in as interim CEO.
As a result of that investigation, a decades-old claim resurfaced.
In 1992, Rita Chatterton, now 64, the first female referee in the WWE, came forward to accuse McMahon of raping her in his limo in 1986.
Her allegation was recently corroborated by former wrestler Leonard Inzitari, who says he saw Chatterton after the alleged attack.
McMahon is married to Trump aide Linda McMahon, who served as the head of the Small Business Administration during Trump’s presidency
McMahon’s wife Linda with President Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago in 2019. She now works at America First Institute
‘I remember it like it was yesterday. She was a wreck. She was shaking. She was crying,’ Inzitari, who went by the wrestling alias Mario Mancini, told Intelligencer.
He said he had kept it a secret for decades in fear of being marginalized by McMahon and his family, who control the industry.
‘He’s dug himself such a deep hole that I’m just tired of it. I can’t do it anymore,’ he said of his decision to speak out now.
Inzitari said Chatterton told him through sobs how McMahon ‘took his penis out’, forced her to perform oral sex on him, then forced himself ‘inside’ of her.
He recalled telling her: ‘You just keep your mouth shut, because it’s Vince McMahon. What are you gonna do, stooge on Vince McMahon? You’re gonna be blackballed from the wrestling business!’
Chatterton did not make her claim public for several years.
It wasn’t until she appeared on Geraldo Rivera’s TV show in 1992 that she made the allegation. He has not yet addressed it.
McMahon gave her first major refereeing job in 1975, then, she claims, offered her a contract of $500,000 a year to referee on-screen.
‘At the time, I knew that’s a huge amount of money, but I didn’t know what the wrestlers were making,’ she said.
She told Intelligencer that McMahon told her not to fraternize with any of the wrestlers, warning her: ‘Keep it clean. I don’t wanna see you messing around with any of the wrestlers. You keep it professional.’
McMahon has not commented on those allegations.
He sued her and Rivera, alleging that they were trying to bring him down and were spurred on by his enemies. The lawsuit was discontinued without either side winning.
His long-serving attorney, Jerry McDevitt, did not respond to inquiries.
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