Ex-WWE Employee Names Vince McMahon in New Sexual Abuse Case

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Former WWE employee Janel Grant has filed a lawsuit against WWE founder Vince McMahon, alleging that he sexually abused her during her time as an employee. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, also names former WWE head of talent relations John Laurinaitis as a defendant.

According to the lawsuit, Grant claims that McMahon used his power and resources within WWE to traffic her to other men for his own pleasure and to secure talent deals. She seeks unspecified monetary damages and a declaration that a nondisclosure agreement she signed is not enforceable against McMahon and WWE.

The lawsuit alleges that McMahon and Laurinaitis engaged in sexual assault and trafficking, both for their own enjoyment and to secure talent deals with new wrestlers. Grant claims that McMahon showered her with gifts and promised her promotions at work in exchange for sexual favors. She also accuses McMahon of disseminating pornography of her to thousands of individuals and engaging in sexual acts with other WWE employees, some of whom she had never met before.

Grant alleges that she met McMahon in March 2019 when they were living in the same apartment building. She says he pressured her into a physical relationship and then gave her an entry-level position at WWE. The lawsuit details several instances of sexual assault and misconduct by McMahon and Laurinaitis.

Grant claims that when McMahon’s wife found out about the relationship, he forced her to resign from WWE and sign a nondisclosure agreement. McMahon promised to protect her financially and reputationally, but allegedly failed to make payments to her, claiming she had leaked information to the press. He ultimately paid her $1 million in February 2022, but has not made any further payments.

Grant’s lawyer, Ann Callis, stated that the lawsuit aims to hold McMahon and Laurinaitis accountable for their actions and to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. She also accuses WWE of facilitating or turning a blind eye to the abuse.

McMahon stepped down as WWE CEO in July 2022 while the company investigated allegations of hush-money payments made to women who accused McMahon of sexual misconduct. He returned to the company in January 2023 as an executive chairman. WWE merged with UFC last year, and McMahon also played a role in the creation of TKO Group Holdings. The lawsuit was filed just days after TKO signed a major deal with Netflix worth $5 billion. Both McMahon and WWE have yet to respond to the allegations.

The accusations against McMahon and Laurinaitis include violating the Trafficking Victims Prevention Act, as well as charges of civil battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress for the years of sexual and emotional abuse that Grant claims to have endured.

A spokesperson for McMahon has denied the allegations, calling them untrue and a vindictive distortion of the truth. McMahon plans to vigorously defend himself against the lawsuit.

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