It is no longer just the WWE Board of Directors looking into Vince McMahon’s hush money payments to former female employees, alleging abuse, misconduct, and harassment.
According to a new “Wall Street Journal” report, federal prosecutors and the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) are now looking into the payments made by the former-WWE Chairman & CEO. McMahon announced his resignation to the surprise of many, with sources saying it was the federal investigation that hastened McMahon’s decision to retire from all duties, corporate and creative.
Earlier today, an 8-K filing with the SEC mentioned that WWE “may receive in the future, regulatory, investigative and enforcement inquiries, subpoenas or demands arising from, related to, or in connection” with the recent revelation that WWE would have to amend their previous financial reports to include the $14.6 million that McMahon paid to the former employees.
WWE noted in the filing that the payments should’ve been recorded as expenses. Even if McMahon paid the Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) and funded the $14.6 million personally, it was still to WWE’s benefit and should be documented in the records. The WSJ report notes that WWE said McMahon “has or will pay” all $14.6 million personally, suggesting some payments have yet to be concluded. McMahon’s net worth has increased by $144 million since news of his retirement broke, as WWE stock rallied behind the fact that McMahon was retiring, with many thinking it could mean a sale is on the horizon.
According to the “Wall Street Journal,” McMahon’s behavior could put the company’s relationships with advertisers and networks at risk, with WWE’s current streaming deal with Hulu coming to an end later this year. McMahon’s daughter Stephanie is currently sharing the CEO role with WWE President Nick Khan. According to the 8-K filing, the WWE Board of directors’ investigation is still ongoing while the federal investigation begins. Numerous law firms are also investigating WWE on behalf of shareholders over WWE’s handling of the study.