wrestling / News

UPDATED: Vince McMahon Accused of Sex Trafficking In New Lawsuit, More Details on Legal Complaint

January 25, 2024 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Vince McMahon WWE, Adnan Virk, ECW Image Credit: WWE

UPDATE: It should be noted that a full copy of the legal complaint filed by former WWE staffer Janel Grant against TKO Executive Chairman of the Board Vince McMahon is now available at NBC Rhode Island affiliate WJAR.

In terms of the other allegations named in the legal complaint, it’s alleged that McMahon started sharing explicit photographs and videos of the plaintiff with other men inside and outside WWE, including members of the television production “tech” team, executives, producers, and “a world-famous athlete and former UFC Heavyweight Champion whom WWE was actively trying to sign to a new contract (and ultimately did sign that contract).

Later in the complaint, it describes a situation where Grant was being used as a “sexual pawn” to entice a “World-Famous Wrestling Talent” to remain under contract with WWE. The complaint says that McMahon recruited the unnamed WWE Superstar for a “sexual encounter” with Grant while she was a coordinator in the legal department. In July 2021, McMahon allegedly informed Grant that she would be used as a “playmate” for this WWE Superstar.

The legal complaint also alleges that despite promising reputational protection to the plaintiff, “WWE appears to have leaked information that led to the public disclosure of her name by a media blogger who cited ‘a source in #WWE with direct knowledge of the situation.'” The legal filing alleges that this was an intimidation tactic by WWE against Ms. Grant.

The filing also states that Linda McMahon found out about the relationship, after which Grant was allegedly pressured to resign from WWE after “years of emotional and sexual abuse/manipulation by Mr. McMahon,” and McMahon’s wife, Linda McMahon, learning about the relationship. It’s stated that Grant was forced to sign the NDA days before what was said to be “a major financial deadline” for WWE. Grant alleges that she signed the NDA under the guise that McMahon would offer her financial and reputational protection and also pay her $3 million.

ORIGINAL: The Wall Street Journal reports that former WWE staffer Janel Grant has filed a lawsuit against Vince McMahon and accused him of sex trafficking. Grant previously received a payout from McMahon after signing an NDA. Additional details were forwarded in a copy of the official complaint.

Grant said she was abused and “sexually exploited” by McMahon when he was the CEO of WWE. McMahon allegedly promised that her career would be helped by giving in, then he not only sexually abused her, but trafficked her to other men in the company. She claims that on June 15, 2021, McMahon and John Laurinaitis locked her in an office and took turns assaulting her while other staff members were working. Laurinaitis is also named in the lawsuit.

The claims include:

* Violation of the Trafficking Victims Prevention Act (TVPA) (against McMahon/Laurianitis)
* Participating in Venture in Violation of the TVPA (against the WWE)
* Negligence (against the WWE)
* Civil Battery (against all defendants)
* Intentional or Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress (against all defendants)

Holland Law Firm’s Ann Callis, who filed the suit, said in a statement: “Today’s complaint seeks to hold accountable two WWE executives who sexually assaulted and trafficked Plaintiff Janel Grant, as well as the organization that facilitated or turned a blind eye to the abuse and then swept it under the rug. She is an incredibly private and courageous person who has suffered deeply at the hands of Mr. McMahon and Mr. Laurinaitis. Ms. Grant hopes that her lawsuit will prevent other women from being victimized. The organization is well aware of Mr. McMahon’s history of depraved behavior, and it’s time that they take responsibility for the misconduct of its leadership.

During the time this happened, McMahon would give her gifts and “empty” promotions, while threatening her career if she didn’t agree to what he demanded.

The lawsuit contains graphic details, as McMahon allegedly made several depraved and disturbing sexual demands. One of the claims included that McMahon used sex toys named after WWE employees, wrestlers and performers to groom Grant for trafficking to those people. She claimed that McMahon would use her as a “pawn” to “secure talent deals with prospective wrestlers they were recruiting.” She also said McMahon would share pornography of her to “thousands” of others and force her to engage in sex with other WWE employees, who were strangers. At one point in the lawsuit, Grant outright accuses McMahon and Laurinaitis of rape in a WWE conference room, saying things like “No means yes” and “take it, bitch.”

After years of this, and the discovery of the “relationship” by Linda McMahon, Grant was pressured into quitting WWE and forced to sign an NDA. McMahon claimed he would “protect her” financially and protect her reputation, as well as pay her $3 million. He later refused to make any payments and claimed she leaked information to the media.

WWE has yet to respond to the lawsuit or report.

If you know someone who is being abused, or if you yourself a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Call 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

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Vince McMahon, WWE, Joseph Lee