By Judith Gicobi
According to a Wall Street Journal article, Vince McMahon, the CEO of WWE, is under investigation by the board of the organization for agreeing to pay a covert $3 million (about Ksh. 351 million) payment to a former employee with whom he allegedly had an affair.
The anonymous former employee is forbidden from disclosing her contact with Mr. McMahon or denigrating him because of the separation agreement, which was purportedly made in January, according to the Journal.
The probe, which started in April has “unearthed other, older nondisclosure agreements involving claims by former female WWE employees of misconduct by Mr. McMahon,” the Journal said. John Laurinaitis, the organization’s chief of talent relations, reportedly faced additional allegations of wrongdoing.
The employee was allegedly hired by McMahon, who is 76, “at a salary of $100,000 but increased it to $200,000 after beginning a sexual relationship with her.” According to an email sent to the WWE board on March 30.
The email further claims that McMahon treated the former worker, a 41-year-old paralegal who was recruited on the job, like “a toy” for Mr. Laurinaitis.
When CNN contacted the WWE for comment on this report, they did not respond right away.
The WWE is cooperating with the investigation, a business official told the Journal, and McMahon’s connection with the former employee was mutual.
The Journal points out that the board of WWE is made up of WWE employees and even McMahon family members. That includes his daughter Stephanie McMahon and Paul Levesque, who is also Triple H’s spouse and a former wrestler. The bulk of the voting shares are held by McMahon.
McMahon has played a crucial role in the WWE for many years, both on the stage and in the ring.
With agreements with Fox and NBCUniversal, the CEO has contributed to the company’s transformation into a media powerhouse. McMahon has also aided in the development of a number of well-known wrestlers who have outgrown the WWE, including The Rock, John Cena, and Stone Cold Steve Austin.