Wall Street Journal: WWE’s Vince McMahon settles with ex-employee who accused him of rape

New York

World Wrestling Entertainment executive chairman Vince McMahon has agreed to another multimillion-dollar legal settlement with a former female employee of the wrestling organization, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited several anonymous sources familiar with the agreement.

The Journal reported Thursday that McMahon completed a settlement last month with Rita Chatterton, its first female referee, who accused him of raping her in 1986.

She demanded $11.75 million in damages for the alleged rape, per a November letter provided to the Journal. However, a single unnamed source told the Journal that she “agreed to a lesser amount in the millions of dollars,” although the exact amount of the settlement is unclear.

“Mr. McMahon denies and always has denied raping Ms. Chatterton. And he settled the case solely to avoid the cost of litigation,” said Jerry McDevitt, a lawyer for McMahon, told the Journal. He didn’t immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

CNN has not seen the letter or the settlement. The WWE did not immediately return CNN’s request for comment on this story. In addition, Chatteron’s lawyer didn’t respond to CNN’s request for comment and the lawyer declined to comment to the Journal.

The settlement, according to the Journal, gives Chatterton a lump upfront sum and annual installments, similar to McMahon’s previous agreements with women who have accused him of inappropriate behavior, including some allegations of sexual misconduct a person familiar with the deal told the newspaper.

McMahon has previously paid more than $12 million to four women to cover up “allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity,” according to a July 2022 Wall Street Journal report.

The women, all of whom were employed by or involved with the WWE, signed agreements with McMahon that “prohibit them from discussing potential legal claims against or their relationships with the 76-year-old executive.”

The report of the hush money, which the Journal said was paid over 16 years, is the latest part of a corporate firestorm for McMahon.

In June 2022, another report from the Journal said the company’s board was investigating McMahon for agreeing to pay a secret $3 million settlement to a former employee with whom he allegedly had an affair. That woman is among the four mentioned in the new report.

McMahon returned to the company on January 6, nearly six months after announcing his retirement following a hush money and sexual harassment scandal.

Following his departure, the WWE disclosed multiple expenses that McMahon hadn’t reported, totaling $19.6 million. That forced the company to revise its financial statements for 2019, 2020 and 2021.


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