Posts Tagged ‘Sexual Misconduct Investigation’

WWE’s value has dropped from $4.995 billion to $4.485 billion.

Obviously, that’s still a staggering amount of money, but the company’s overall value has gone down 10.21% since reports surfaced in The Wall Street Journal alleging sexual misconduct from Vince McMahon towards a female employee.

That 10.21% equates to $510 million.

IndieWire also reported that some metrics have actually gone up for the promotion. This past week’s editions of Raw and SmackDown, for example, had higher ratings for some segments than WWE has experienced lately. That, of course, could have something to do with the ongoing controversy.

WWE announced McMahon for last Friday’s SmackDown ahead of time, but they kept his showing on Raw under wraps until it happened.

The company’s value fell from $4.995 billion to $4.823 billion within 24 hours of allegations surfacing against Vince and John Laurinaitis. By Friday, that number had dropped to $4.647 billion, and it continued to plummet towards the $4.485 billion figure.

It’ll be interesting to see if things stabilise soon, or if that number will keep dropping. WWE definitely won’t see it as a plus that value has gone down over $500m, that’s for sure.

As of this writing, WWE is now under investigation from five different law firms.

Originally reported as three firms by Mike Johnson over at PWInsider, Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics has an update that the number of legal companies currently looking into WWE now stands at five. The firms looking to take class action against Vince McMahon’s promotion are Scott+Scott, Rosen Law Firm, Schall Law Firm, Bragel Eagel & Squire, and Labaton Sucharow.

These investigations are in regards to WWE potentially violating federal securities laws.

To quote the Schall Law Firm – which mirrors the sentiments of the other aforementioned legal organisations – this pertains to:

The investigation focuses on whether the Company issued false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose information pertinent to investors. WWE is the the subject of a June 15, 2022, article in the Wall Street Journal titled: “WWE Board Probes Secret $3 Million Hush Pact by CEO Vince McMahon, Sources Say.” According to the article, the Company’s board “is investigating a secret $3 million settlement that longtime chief executive Vince McMahon agreed to pay to a departing employee with whom he allegedly had an affair, according to documents and people familiar with the board inquiry.” The article continues, “the board’s investigation, which began in April, has unearthed other, older nondisclosure agreements involving claims by former female WWE employees of misconduct by Mr. McMahon and one of his top executives, John Laurinaitis, the head of talent relations at WWE, the people said.” On June 17, 2022, the Company issued a press release stating, “a Special Committee of the Board is conducting an investigation into alleged misconduct by its Chairman and CEO Vincent McMahon and John Laurinaitis, head of talent relations, and that, effective immediately, McMahon has voluntarily stepped back from his responsibilities as CEO and Chairman of the Board until the conclusion of the investigation.”

All law firms investigating this have encouraged any shareholders impacted by these recent events to get in touch with them.

Of course, in the aftermath of these allegations being made public last week, Vince McMahon opted to make rare appearances on this past Friday’s SmackDown and last night’s Raw. Coming across to the majority of watching audiences as tone deaf at best, and egotistically arrogant at worst, these appearances saw McMahon do a whole lot of nothing while seemingly doing his best to show that it’s very much business as usual for Vince and WWE.

As mentioned above, a company statement announced that McMahon has stepped away from CEO and Chairman responsibilities while the WWE board’s investigation takes place, but Vince is still very much in control of the promotion’s creative direction.

Vince McMahon has sensationally stepped down as WWE CEO.

Stephanie McMahon has been named Interim CEO and Chairwoman of the company as the WWE’s board of directors continue their investigations into misconduct allegations that were reported by the Wall Street Journal this week.

In statements released via WWE Corporate, the company announced the following:

Stamford, Conn. – WWE (NYSE: WWE) and the Board of Directors today announced that a Special Committee of the Board is conducting an investigation into alleged misconduct by its Chairman and CEO Vincent McMahon and John Laurinaitis, head of talent relations, and that, effective immediately, McMahon has voluntarily stepped back from his responsibilities as CEO and Chairman of the Board until the conclusion of the investigation. McMahon will retain his role and responsibilities related to WWE’s creative content during this period and remains committed to cooperating with the review underway.

On accepting the role and the ongoing investigations, Stephanie said (h/t SEScoops):

“I love this company and am committed to working with the Independent Directors to strengthen our culture and our Company; it is extremely important to me that we have a safe and collaborative workplace. I have committed to doing everything in my power to help the Special Committee complete its work, including marshalling the cooperation of the entire company to assist in the completion of the investigation and to implement its findings”

Vince McMahon himself added:

“I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation. I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are”

As noted in the official statement, McMahon will remain directly related to WWE’s creative content, which perhaps explains murmurings following the news that tonight’s SmackDown would be “business as usual“.

As noted, Vince McMahon is reportedly being investigated by the WWE board of directors over cash settlements made to former employees over alleged misconduct. WWE Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis is also named in one of the settlements.

The investigation began in April after the WWE board was made aware of a $3 million settlement between McMahon and a former paralegal for the company with whom McMahon allegedly had an affair.

The settlement was from January of 2022, and a statement from the WWE board claims that the relationship was consensual. Upon further investigation, there were numerous settlements with former female employees to silence allegations of misconduct, which is when John Laurinaitis’ name was mentioned.

Fightful Select has backstage news about the ongoing allegations against both McMahon and Laurinaitis.

According to the report, sources that Fightful spoke to have indicated that the relationship between McMahon and the paralegal was suspected by many in the company and it was hinted that she was given a substantial promotion around the time of the April 2021 WWE cuts. She was promoted from John Laurinaitis assistant to a “director” role that spring.

Stephanie McMahon is on the company board and would have been aware of the investigation as would Nick Khan and Triple H.

Fightful also asked about Nia Jax’s tweet from April 30, “It’s a shame, some people deserve to get the opportunity to shine like the star they really are, but unfortunately certain higher-ups can never see past their own perverted ways. Too bad, there aren’t the lucky ones who can use blackmail to keep their jobs.”

There was no mention of it from any higher-ups and the tweet was just dismissed as “bitter.” The tweet would have been after the investigation was underway too.

When John Laurinaitis was given back the spot as Head of Talent Relations in 2021, female talent were frustrated with the move. One source revealed today, according to the report, that she would rather get all her stuff sent to her in a trash bag when she gets fired than to have to deal with Laurinaitis.

One former office employee also said that they believe this will be a “domino effect” and Vince McMahon will fight hard to stay, but doesn’t see a situation in which Laurinaitis doesn’t resign.

There are also assumptions that these allegations are the biggest threat to McMahon’s power in WWE since the steroid trial nearly three decades ago.

It was also noted in the report that some sources that Fightful spoke with expected John Laurinaitis to be replaced before all is said and done, and one speculated that he’s being set up as the “latest fall guy for Vince, his turn in line was coming.”

One male wrestler who was active from the 2000s and 2010s told Fightful that there long had been rumors of John Laurinatis’ misconduct, while a former writer said it was an open suspicion in the mid-2000s.

ESPN announced Friday it has severed ties with former NFLers and radio contributors Donovan McNabb and Eric Davis after a month-long investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against them.

McNabb and Davis were among a group of athletes-turned-analysts named in a lawsuit filed by a former NFL Network wardrobe stylist.

The stylist alleged McNabb sent her text messages with sexually explicit comments and Davis rubbed his body against her and made sexually charged comments.