Federal law enforcement officials conducted a search at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) CEO Vince McMahon premises and served him with a federal grand jury subpoena, as revealed by the company in a recent disclosure. The investigation stems from allegations that McMahon paid substantial sums of money to women who accused him of sexual misconduct over the years.
On a separate note, WWE also disclosed that McMahon has taken medical leave after undergoing significant spinal surgery. His leave commenced on July 21, and he will continue to be the Executive Chairman of WWE during this period.
The company stated that it believes the subpoena and search warrant are part of an ongoing investigation that began last summer. WWE has cooperated fully with the authorities and respects the need for a thorough investigative process.
Vince McMahon, in a statement, reiterated his denial of any intentional wrongdoing and expressed confidence that the government’s investigation will not find any evidence of wrongdoing.
The investigation has been ongoing for about a year since federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) initiated an inquiry into McMahon’s payments to women.
WWE disclosed that it has received legal demands, both voluntary and compulsory, from federal law enforcement and regulatory agencies related to the investigation.
In a separate development, WWE agreed to merge with rival UFC to create a new publicly traded company under Endeavor Group’s control. Both WWE and Endeavor anticipate the deal’s closure in the second half of this year.
Furthermore, WWE revealed that during the three and six months ending June 30, the company incurred expenses of $5.3 million and $7.1 million, respectively, linked to a separate investigation conducted by a special committee appointed by the board. McMahon has agreed to reimburse WWE for all reasonable costs incurred in connection with the special committee’s investigation, and he has already paid approximately $17.4 million.
It is essential to note that these developments occurred amid news of former President Donald Trump’s indictment by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., related to actions taken to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. Trump has been a longtime friend of McMahon’s.
As of now, the investigation remains ongoing, while McMahon continues his medical leave as WWE’s Executive Chairman. The company remains committed to cooperating with the authorities throughout the process.