Report: WWE boss McMahon’s silent cash bill exceeds $12 million

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NEW YORK (AP) — Longtime World Wrestling Entertainment impresario Vince McMahon has agreed to pay more than $12 million over the past 16 years to suppress allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The amount is significantly higher than previously known.

Four women — all formerly affiliated with WWE — have signed deals with McMahon, 76, that prevent them from discussing their relationships with him, the Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the deals and documents he has examined.

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McMahon resigned as CEO and Chairman of WWE in mid-June amid an investigation into the alleged misconduct and the Journal reported at the time that he agreed to pay $3 million to a former paralegal who said he sexually harassed her at work.

McMahon will continue to oversee creative content for WWE during the investigation.

WWE named McMahon’s daughter Stephanie interim CEO and president during the investigation into his alleged misconduct, although he continued to oversee the creative side of the business.

McMahon has been the leader and most recognizable face of WWE for decades. When he purchased what was then the World Wrestling Federation from his father in 1982, wrestling matches were held in small venues and appeared on local cable channels.

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WWE matches are now played in professional sports stadiums and the organization has a large overseas audience. It has a broadcast partnership with Saudi media company MBC Group.

The organization underwent a seismic transformation under McMahon with events like WrestleMania, a premium live production that draws millions of devout viewers.

Last year, revenues topped $1 billion for the first time, and the company landed television deals with Fox and NBCUniversal. Last month, it announced a multi-year expansion of its original programming partnership with A&E.

WWE stars have become crossover sensations including Hulk Hogan, Dwayne « The Rock » Johnson, « Stone Cold » Steve Austin and John Cena.

Shares of Stamford, Connecticut-based World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. fell 2% on Friday.

There was no immediate response to phone and email messages left with a WWE spokesperson seeking comment on the report.


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