Vince McMahon, the executive chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment, was subjected to a search warrant by federal agents and was served a grand jury subpoena last month, the company said Wednesday in a federal filing.
McMahon, 77, is also taking a medical leave from the sports entertainment company after recent spinal surgery.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, federal law enforcement and regulatory agencies made “voluntary and compulsory legal demands” for documents related to sexual-misconduct allegations made against McMahon, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The newspaper, citing an anonymous source, said the warrant was for McMahon’s smartphone.
WWE said in its filing that while federal investigations into McMahon continue, no charges have been brought, The Associated Press reported. A spokesperson for WWE said the company has cooperated with federal authorities and understands and respects the government’s need to finish the process, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“In 2022, WWE formed a special committee to review allegations of misconduct against me,” McMahon said in a statement. “That review was concluded in November 2022 following an extensive investigation. Throughout this experience, I have always denied any intentional wrongdoing and continue to do so. I am confident that the government’s investigation will be resolved without any findings of wrongdoing.”
McMahon left WWE in June 2022 after The Wall Street Journal reported that the pro wrestling executive allegedly paid more than $12 million over the previous 16 years to cover up allegations of sexual misconduct.
That included a secret $3 million settlement that McMahon agreed to pay to a former female employee with whom he allegedly had an affair, the newspaper reported.
The WWE’s board of directors appointed a special committee to investigate the allegations in June 2022. WWE’s board ultimately found that the payments, which were McMahon personally, should have been marked as WWE expenses because they benefited the company, The Wall Street Journal reported.
McMahon returned to WWE as executive chairman in January. He repaid WWE $17.4 million in March to cover costs related to the investigation, according to the newspaper.
According to WWE, McMahon’s leave began on July 21, and he will “remain on medical leave until further notice but will remain Executive Chairman” of the wrestling company, CNBC reported.
Vince McMahon built WWE into a worldwide organization, shattering the former concept of “territories” that were part of a “gentlemen’s agreement” between promoters, including the World Wide Wrestling Federation (now WWE), which was founded and run by McMahon’s father, Vince McMahon Sr. Promotions such as the National Wrestling Alliance, American Wrestling Alliance and WWWF maintained territorial borders and did not infringe on other promotions.
Vince McMahon Jr. changed that during the 1980s, offering professional wrestling matches on national television and hosting major events such as WrestleMania. Stars from the WWE stable have included Hulk Hogan, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Steve Austin and Brock Lesnar.
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