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He continued to disclaim wrongdoing following the lawsuit filed by Janel Grant, who labored within the firm’s authorized and expertise departments.

FILE - WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon speaks to an audience during a WWE fan appreciation event, Oct. 30, 2010, in Hartford, Conn.
WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon speaks to an viewers throughout a WWE fan appreciation occasion, Oct. 30, 2010, in Hartford, Conn. A former WWE worker filed a federal lawsuit Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, accusing McMahon and one other former government of great sexual misconduct. (AP Picture/Jessica Hill, File) AP Picture/Jessica Hill, File

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STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — Wrestling icon Vince McMahon resigned Friday from WWE’s mum or dad firm the day after a former worker filed a federal lawsuit accusing him and one other former government of great sexual misconduct, together with providing her to a star wrestler for intercourse.

McMahon stepped down from his place as government chairman of the board of administrators at WWE’s mum or dad firm, TKO Group Holdings, in keeping with a press release launched late Friday. He continued to disclaim wrongdoing following the lawsuit filed by Janel Grant, who labored within the firm’s authorized and expertise departments.

The swimsuit consists of allegations that McMahon, now 78, compelled Grant right into a sexual relationship to ensure that her to get and hold a job and handed round pornographic footage and movies of her to different males, together with different WWE workers.

The AP usually doesn’t identify accusers in sexual assault circumstances, however Grant’s representatives stated she wished to go public. Her lawyer didn’t instantly have a remark Friday.

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McMahon’s assertion stated that he was leaving the board “out of respect” for WWE and TKO Group.

“I stand by my prior assertion that Ms. Grant’s lawsuit is replete with lies, obscene made-up cases that by no means occurred, and is a vindictive distortion of the reality,” he stated within the assertion. “I intend to vigorously defend myself in opposition to these baseless accusations, and stay up for clearing my identify.”

McMahon stepped down as WWE’s CEO in 2022 amid an investigation into allegations that match these within the lawsuit, which was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court docket in Connecticut, the place WWE is predicated.

McMahon was the chief and most recognizable face at WWE for many years. When he bought what was then the World Wrestling Federation from his father in 1982, wrestling matches came about at small venues and appeared on native cable channels. WWE matches at the moment are held in skilled sports activities stadiums, and the group has a large abroad following.

WWE merged last April with the corporate that runs Final Combating Championship to create the $21.4 billion sports activities leisure firm TKO Group Holdings, and McMahon served as that group’s government chairman of the board till Friday.

TKO Group’s consultant referred media inquiries about McMahon’s resignation to his assertion. Deadline first reported that he was stepping down.

“Mr. McMahon doesn’t management TKO nor does he oversee the day-to-day operations of WWE,” TKO Group stated earlier this week. “Whereas this matter pre-dates our TKO government staff’s tenure on the firm, we take Ms. Grant’s horrific allegations very significantly and are addressing this matter internally.”

Grant additionally names as defendants within the lawsuit the WWE and John Laurinaitis, an ex-pro wrestler and the corporate’s former head of expertise relations and common supervisor. WWE and Laurinaitis didn’t return requests for remark Friday.

In line with the lawsuit, McMahon lived in the identical constructing as Grant and in 2019 provided to get her a job at WWE after her mother and father died.

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She alleges that he finally made it clear that one of many necessities of the job was a bodily relationship with him and later with Laurinaitis and others.

Over the following few years, McMahon lavished her with items together with a luxurious automobile, the swimsuit says.

It additionally alleges that McMahon provided considered one of his star wrestlers — an individual not named within the lawsuit — intercourse with Grant as a perk in 2021.

“WWE benefited financially from the business intercourse act enterprise orchestrated by McMahon, together with by having wrestling expertise, akin to WWE Celebrity, signal new contracts with WWE after McMahon introduced Plaintiff as a sexual commodity for his or her use,” the lawsuit states.

Grant is in search of unspecified financial damages and to have the court docket void a $3 million nondisclosure settlement, of which she alleges she acquired solely $1 million.

“Ms. Grant hopes that her lawsuit will forestall different girls from being victimized,” her legal professional, Ann Callis, stated in a press release Thursday. “The group is effectively conscious of Mr. McMahon’s historical past of wicked habits, and it’s time that they take duty for the misconduct of its management.”

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