Vince McMahon has paid WWE $17.4 million for costs the wrestling entertainment company incurred in investigating misconduct allegations against the exec, as reported in Variety.
McMahon, WWE’s executive chairman and controlling shareholder, returned to the company in January after he “retired” from the company last year. WWE’s board had formed a special committee to look into allegations that he paid millions of dollars in hush money to multiple women to stay quiet about affairs and other misconduct.
Under an agreement reached with the company, McMahon on March 23 paid WWE about $17.4 million, according to an SEC filing by WWE Friday. That was to reimburse the company “for the costs that have been incurred and paid by the company and/or its subsidiaries, through January 31, 2023, in connection with and/or arising from the investigation conducted by a special committee of the company’s board of directors,” as well as related revisions to the company’s financial statements and other related matters, WWE said.
McMahon also promised to pay back the company “for additional costs incurred by the company and/or its subsidiaries” after Jan. 31. The agreement includes a “release of the company by Mr. McMahon regarding the investigation and related matters described above.”
With McMahon’s return to the WWE, the company has been actively seeking a buyer. As CEO of WWE, McMahon made payments totaling $19.6 million dating back to 2007 related to the alleged misconduct, the company disclosed last summer.
In January, McMahon elected himself back on to WWE’s board and also appointed Michelle Wilson and George Barrios, former WWE co-presidents and directors, to the board.
“WWE is entering a critical juncture in its history with the upcoming media rights negotiations coinciding with increased industry-wide demand for quality content and live events and with more companies seeking to own the intellectual property on their platforms,” McMahon said in announcing his return in January 2023. “The only way for WWE to fully capitalize on this opportunity is for me to return as executive chairman and support the management team in the negotiations for our media rights and to combine that with a review of strategic alternatives.”
McMahon added that his return “will allow WWE, as well as any transaction counterparties, to engage in these processes knowing they will have the support of the controlling shareholder.”