Experts Assess Whether Vince McMahon NDAs Will Hold Up In Court

Last week, former WWE employee Janel Grant filed a lawsuit against the company, Vince McMahon, and former executive John Laurinaitis, alleging that she was a victim of sexual assault and sex trafficking from 2019 to 2022. Part of the lawsuit alleges that McMahon convinced Grant to sign an NDA but later failed to follow through on the agreed payments. There is now some doubt being cast as to whether or not the NDA will even be enforceable in court.

VICE News spoke to several figures familiar with NDAs and how they function in practice. The consensus from those they spoke to? The documents are constructed in a way that will likely make them hard to enforce in a court of law. Carrie Goldberg, a former lawyer for victims of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, offered her assessment.

"The NDA makes references to confidentiality, but there's no definition of what to be confidential about," Goldberg said. "It's very vague. Usually, there's super-specific information about what to be confidential about."

According to Goldberg, another issue with the document is that it lacks the signature of McMahon on Grant's copy of the NDA. In a normal situation, everyone involved will receive a final copy of the agreement, but McMahon reportedly signed his in secret on the counsel of former WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt — something Goldberg said is quite unusual.

Future Legislation Could Outlaw Workplace NDAs In Connecticut

The report also cites a professor from UC Law San Francisco, Jodi Short, who says that NDAs such as the one she was provided are not very enforceable in court. However, that often doesn't matter in practice, as the costs of litigation are usually enough to discourage anyone from challenging an NDA.

According to Julie Roginsky, an advocate for women who have suffered workplace sexual harassment, there is currently a piece of legislature being worked on in Connecticut that would outlaw workplace NDAs, and that could function retroactively. If it goes through, it would almost certainly have a massive effect on the current situation unfolding in and around WWE.

This morning, it was revealed that McMahon is still under federal investigation, and the investigation relates to Grant's claims and more women who have yet to come forward publicly. As that investigation and Grant's lawsuit progress, more information regarding McMahon and potentially other WWE officials is likely to be revealed.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit VICE News with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.