Vince McMahon Resigns From TKO Group Board of Directors Following Sex Abuse, Trafficking Lawsuit

Vince McMahon has resigned from his position as the executive chairman of the board of TKO Group Holdings, Inc., the company formed by Endeavor that merged WWE and the UFC.

“I wanted to inform you that Vince McMahon has tendered his resignation from his positions as TKO Executive Chairman and on the TKO Board of Directors,” WWE president and TKO board member Nick Khan said in an email to staff seen by Variety. “He will no longer have a role with TKO Group Holdings or WWE.”

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McMahon’s exit comes after former WWE employee Janel Grant filed a lawsuit against him, the company, and former WWE executive John Laurinaitis. The lawsuit alleges that McMahon abused and sexually exploited her and also trafficked her to other men, including Laurinaitis, who was formerly WWE’s head of talent relations.

According to Grant’s lawsuit, McMahon and Laurinaitis — on WWE property and using WWE funding — both engaged in sexual assault and trafficking of Grant “both for their own pleasure and as a pawn to secure talent deals with prospective wrestlers they were recruiting.” McMahon “repeatedly used sex toys named after other WWE employees, wrestlers and performers to sexually groom Ms. Grant for trafficking to those same people,” per the suit. A copy of the lawsuit is available at this link.

“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,” McMahon said in a statement. “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, effective immediately.”

The lawsuit was filed days after it was announced that WWE had secured a deal with Netflix to begin airing “Monday Night Raw” beginning in 2025. The deal is valued at $5 billion.

McMahon previously stepped down as WWE’s CEO in June 2022 amid an investigation by the company’s board into alleged hush-money payments to women who accused him of sexual misconduct over a period of nearly two decades. McMahon used his position as WWE’s largest shareholder to return to the company in January 2023 as executive chairman to lead efforts to sell WWE, which was then merged with UFC to form TKO Group Holdings.

McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon, served as co-CEO and chairwoman of the board of directors following her father’s exit. She resigned from the company less than a week after his return after having been with WWE in various capacities for most of her life.

As WWE’s chief executive, McMahon made payments totaling $14.6 million dating back to 2006 related to alleged misconduct, plus $5 million in two unrelated payments, the company disclosed. (That $5 million was paid to Donald Trump’s charity, per a Wall Street Journal report.) In March 2023, McMahon paid WWE $17.4 million for costs the company incurred in investigating misconduct allegations against him.

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