Another Possible Vince McMahon Sexual Assault Victim Revealed

Former WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon has once again been accused of sexual assault. The Wall Street Journal reports that internal documents have revealed McMahon's attorney received an email in November from the lawyer of a former spa manager at a resort in California. The lawyer alleges that the former spa manager was sexually assaulted by McMahon back in 2011, an accusation that hadn't been previously reported.


The report also notes that the lawyer for former WWE referee Rita Chatterton has informed WWE that $11.75 million in damages is being sought. Chatterton has accused McMahon of sexually assaulting her in a limousine three decades ago — McMahon has repeatedly denied the claim. Furthermore, the WSJ report states that McMahon has told people that he has no plans to pay settlements to Chatterton or the former spa manager in California. The WSJ was told that when the spa manager told her husband about the alleged incident, he made his way to a WWE event with a baseball bat in hopes of confronting McMahon, but was turned away. Michael Bressle, the alleged victim's lawyer, has reportedly been in contact with McMahon's attorney since July at the very least.


As far as Chatterton is concerned, her lawyer, John Clune, said in a demand letter back in November that the damage done by the alleged sexual assault of his client is "hard to overstate." Clune claimed that Chatterton has been suffering from ongoing depression as a result of the alleged incident, as well as substance abuse and disordered eating.

McMahon announced his retirement from WWE back in July, amid a series of investigations into hush money payments allegedly made to cover up accusations of abuse, misconduct, and harassment. Despite this, the WSJ notes that McMahon has told sources he wants to come back to WWE.

Has a pattern begun to form?

The previously unreported allegation from the California spa manager reveals a potential pattern in Vince McMahon's alleged sexual misconduct, as she is not the first service employee in the wellness and fitness industry to accuse him of sexual assault. On February 1, 2006, the Palm Beach Post reported that a tanning salon attendant in Boca Raton, Florida had filed a police report against him for cornering and forcibly groping her days earlier. (She added that he also showed her nude photos of himself without her consent, which echoes another accuser whose allegations the Wall Street Journal reported on in July 2022.)


The Post couldn't get in touch with McMahon, but reached at their home in Boca, his wife, Linda, told the newspaper that the allegations were "totally bizarre." Their daughter, Stephanie, confirmed that he was a regular at Tanzabar — the tanning salon in question — but added that "I'm not aware something happened." After further reporting from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on February 2, there was nothing new until the same outlet reported on March 5 that there would be no charges filed due to "insufficient evidence."

That was the last word on the case until the #MeToo movement invited further scrutiny in late 2017 and early 2018. 

Probable cause vs. beyond a reasonable doubt

A January 26, 2018 article at The Daily Beast, citing the police report, revealed that Boca Raton police had written that there was probable cause to arrest Vince McMahon over the groping allegations. (They also reached one of the witnesses, Tanzabar manager Caroline Clear, who told them that "she does not remember specifics from that day and noted it was a part-time job she held while she was in college.") However, a spokesperson for the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office told The Daily Beast that this wasn't enough. "The filing standard for the state is above and beyond a reasonable doubt," said spokesman Mike Edmondson. "Prosecutors have to file at a higher standard, which is proof above a reasonable doubt. It's a much different standard than probable cause."


That wasn't all that surfaced at the time, though. Just under two weeks later, on February 7, Deadspin published a feature on the case that was being worked on at the same time as the Daily Beast story and contained additional information.

Lack of evidence

Deadspin was able to reach William Robert Wells, who, at the time of the alleged assault, worked at the Papa John's pizzeria in the strip mall where Tanzabar was located. Wells told Deadspin that "[the tanning attendant] came in crying, and we knew it was Vince McMahon walking out, and she asked me if it would be fine if I came in the store until the cops came," Wells said, adding that he obliged her request to bring a baseball bat. He also alleged that McMahon stared down the two of them from his car in the parking lot "for a good 45 minutes" before the police arrived.


Though Wells and another customer identified McMahon in a photo lineup, the accuser did not. (In an unused portion of his Deadspin interview, Wells did make sure to note that the accuser had no idea who McMahon was before that day, only knowing him as the man she just met whom she was alleging had just sexually assaulted her.) Prosecutor Jill Richstone officially declared on April 6, 2006 that "upon review of witness statements, there is a lack of independent evidence to support the allegations against Vincent McMahon." University of Florida law professor George "Bob" Dekle told Deadspin that prosecuting misdemeanor charges in Florida, which these were — simple battery as well as assault and battery — generally required a third party eyewitness to the crime or physical evidence, neither of which the Palm Beach County prosecutors had.


WWE and McMahon did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Beast or Deadspin in 2018.