Days after he was accused of sex trafficking and sexual abuse, Vince McMahon has resigned from all his roles at WWE and its parent company, TKO, a source familiar with the situation told Fox News Digital Friday.
“I stand by my prior statement that Ms. Grant’s lawsuit is replete with lies, obscene made-up instances that never occurred and is a vindictive distortion of the truth,” McMahon said in a statement. “I intend to vigorously defend myself against these baseless accusations and look forward to clearing my name.
“However, out of respect for the WWE Universe, the extraordinary TKO business and its board members and shareholders, partners and constituents and all of the employees and superstars who helped make WWE into the global leader it is today, I have decided to resign from my executive chairmanship and the TKO board of directors, effective immediately.”
A lawsuit against McMahon was filed in Connecticut Thursday by Janel Grant, who alleged in a 67-page complaint that McMahon lured her to the company with promises of a stellar career, only to be sexually exploited by him and people he called his “friends” between 2019 and 2022.
The lawsuit says Grant signed a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) in 2022 in which McMahon agreed to pay $3 million in exchange for her not disclosing their relationship or disparaging him. However, the lawsuit alleged that she continued to be harassed. The suit seeks to void the NDA under the Speak Out Act, unspecified compensatory damages and further relief as the court “deems just and proper.”
Grant joined WWE in June 2019, months after the death of her parents and after her building’s manager texted McMahon to see whether he would talk to her, according to the lawsuit. Grant states in the suit that her initial meeting with McMahon was the start of the three-year “nightmare.”
Among the claims, McMahon is accused of defecating on the plaintiff during a threesome and causing injuries to her through the use of sex toys.
The lawsuit says McMahon told Grant in January 2022 that his wife, Linda McMahon, had discovered their relationship and allegedly pressured her into signing the NDA.
Grant now “lives with so much anxiety and depression that she is unable to leave her residence for weeks at a time out of fear and PTSD,” the complaint states.
“This lawsuit is replete with lies, obscene made-up instances that never occurred and a vindictive distortion of the truth,” a spokesperson for McMahon told Fox News Digital. “He will vigorously defend himself.”
McMahon purchased WWE, then the World Wrestling Federation, in 1982, and made it into the empire it is today.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.