NEW YORK, AP — Vince McMahon, a long-time impresario of World Wrestling Entertainment, agreed to pay more $12 millions over the previous 16 year to suppress sexual misconduct allegations. The Wall Street Journal reports.
The amount is much higher than previously thought.
Six women, all of whom were formerly associated with WWE, signed agreements with McMahon 76, which prohibit them from talking about their relationship with him. The Journal reported Friday, citing sources familiar with the documents and people who reviewed the agreements.
McMahon was forced to step down as chairman and CEO of WWE mid-June after an investigation into alleged misconduct. The Journal also reported that he agreed to $3 million for a former paralegal, who claimed he sexually harassed his coworker on the job.
McMahon continues to supervise WWE’s creativity during this investigation.
WWE dubbed McMahon’s daughter Stephanie interim CEO/chairwoman in the probe into his misconduct, even though he maintained control of the creative aspect of the business.
McMahon is the most well-known and respected face of WWE over many decades. He purchased the World Wrestling Federation from his father in 1982,. At that time, matches were held at small venues. They also appeared on local television channels.
WWE matches now take place in professional sporting stadiums. The organization also has an extensive overseas fan base. The broadcast partner is the Saudi media group MBC Group.
The organization was transformed under McMahon, with Wrestlemania and other premium live events that draw millions of passionate viewers.
Revenue in 2013 exceeded $1Billion for the first-time, and it has TV deals with Fox and NBCUniversal. It announced last month a multi-year extension of its original programming partnership, A&E.
WWE stars are now crossover superstars like Hulk Hogan and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. “Stone Cold,” Steve Austin, John Cena, John Cena, and John Cena.
Shares in World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., Stamford Connecticut dropped by 2% Friday.
There was no response from a WWE spokesperson to emails and phone calls requesting comment.