WWE Reports Additional $5 Million In Improper Payments Made By Vince McMahon

Former WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon is the focus of ongoing investigations into millions of dollars paid to former female employees to silence allegations of sexual abuse, harassment, and other misconduct.

The improper payments were revealed by the Wall Street Journal. It first reported in June that WWE's Board of Directors had launched an investigation into a $3 million payment McMahon made to a former company employee with whom he had an affair.

The board's investigation reportedly uncovered other non-disclosure agreements with former WWE employees who claimed misconduct by McMahon and then-Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis. Subsequent SEC filings revealed a revised total of $14.6 million in payments or future payments agreed to by McMahon between 2006 and 2022.

The Wall Street Journal's reporting detailed allegations that McMahon paid $7.5 million to a former female talent that he coerced into having sex with him. When she refused his further advances, she was demoted and then fired.

The investigation found McMahon used personal funds to make the payments. However, according to WWE, the payments were of WWE's benefit and therefore should be recorded as such. As a result, the company is amending past financial reports to account for the payments. The investigation is also looking into WWE's human resources programs, as well as company culture as a whole.

On July 22, McMahon announced his retirement from WWE, stepping down from his positions as Chairman and CEO of the company. WWE has also parted ways with Laurinaitis.

More Payments By McMahon Uncovered

While McMahon is now officially out of WWE, his past actions are still casting a shadow over the company. The investigation into his actions has now uncovered more improper spending.

WWE's latest SEC filing on Tuesday revealed an additional $5 million in payments McMahon made to two more individuals. The company stated that the payments are unrelated to the allegations that initially led to the Special Committee's investigation.

The unrecorded expenses tied to McMahon now total $19.6 million, and the company he once led is now left to clean up the financial mess. As a result, The filing of WWE"s second-quarter financial report is being delayed.

WWE expects to revise its financial statements from 2019, 2020, 2021, and the first quarter of 2022 to account for McMahon's improper spending. WWE is also examining its disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting.

SEC and federal prosecutors are looking into the payments made by McMahon. At least eight law firms are also investigating whether WWE engaged in unlawful business practices at the expense of investors.