Former WWE employee accuses Vince McMahon of abuse and trafficking in federal lawsuit

Vince McMahon of WWE

An ex-WWE employee filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday accusing Vince McMahon and another former executive of sexual misconduct and trafficking.

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Janel Grant, who worked in the company’s legal and talent departments, alleges that McMahon had forced her into a sexual relationship for her to get and keep her job with the sports entertainment juggernaut. McMahon is said to have distributed pornographic photos and videos of her to members of his staff and roster, including former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.

Per the lawsuit, McMahon lived in the same building as Grant in 2019 and agreed to give her a job after her parents had died. One of the caveats of the job was a physical relationship with McMahon and later John Laurinaitis, the company’s former head of talent relations and general manager.

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Over the next few years, Grant alleges that she was forced into multiple “acts of extreme cruelty and degradation” including an incident where McMahon defecated on her during a threesome and commanded “her to continue pleasuring his ‘friend’ with feces in her hair.”

She also claimed that McMahon and Laurinaitis “sexually assaulted” her when they “cornered” her behind a locked door and “forcibly touched her” with one of them saying, “No means yes” during the encounter.

In 2021, Grant was used as a bargaining chip during negotiations with Lesnar who reportedly asked for a video of her urinating.

“WWE benefited financially from the commercial sex act venture orchestrated by McMahon, including by having wrestling talent, such as WWE Superstar, sign new contracts with WWE after McMahon presented Plaintiff as a sexual commodity for their use,” the lawsuit states.

Vince McMahon attempted to traffic Grant to a WWE star months after her release firing

In the complaint, Grant says that McMahon had “ordered” her to keep their relationship a secret, but was ultimately let go from the company after his wife found out about the relationship in January 2022. Despite that, McMahon attempted to “traffic” her to a WWE star who was scheduled to visit New York City for a “live event and TV taping in March 2022.”

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She said McMahon had her sign an NDA shortly after her release “in exchange for payments,” which he later stopped making. 

“Ms. Grant hopes that her lawsuit will prevent other women from being victimized,” her attorney, Ann Callis, said in a statement. “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.”

A spokesman for Vince McMahon released a statement responding to the allegations. “This lawsuit is replete with lies, obscene made-up instances that never occurred, and a vindictive distortion of the truth,” the spokesman said.

The parent company of WWE (and the UFC), TKO Group, released a statement addressing McMahon’s status with the organization and the allegations being made against the former chairman.

“Mr. McMahon does not control TKO nor does he oversee the day-to-day operations of WWE,” TKO Group said. “While this matter pre-dates our TKO executive team’s tenure at the company, we take Ms. Grant’s horrific allegations very seriously and are addressing this matter internally.”

In June 2022, it was revealed that McMahon had paid more than $12 million to four women to cover up “allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity” over 16 years.

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