Vince McMahon went out on the town for his 77th birthday.
McMahon, who retired from his role as CEO and chairman of WWE in July amid the revelation that he paid $15 million in hush money to several former company employees, was spotted in New York City for the first time since stepping down.
McMahon — who blocked his face from being fully photographed — was joined by a mystery woman, WWE legend John Cena and Cena’s wife Shay Shariatzadeh at the Waverly Inn.
It was groundbreaking news in the pro wrestling business when McMahon stepped down from his post, which he’d held since 1982 after purchasing the company from his father.
McMahon lorded over every aspect of WWE, from the creative storytelling to the financials, as he transformed the company from being a regional wrestling territory to a publicly traded international conglomerate worth billions.
In wake of the exit, McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon, became co-CEO. The other co-CEO is Nick Khan, who joined the company from CAA in 2020. McMahon’s son-in-law, Paul Levesque, who has performed in WWE as Triple H, took over as head of creative. McMahon remains WWE’s majority shareholder.
“As I approach 77 years old, I feel it’s time for me to retire as Chairman and CEO of WWE. Throughout the years, it’s been a privilege to help WWE bring you joy, inspire you, thrill you, surprise you, and always entertain you,” McMahon said in a statement at the time. “I would like to thank my family for mightily contributing to our success, and I would also like to thank all of our past and present Superstars and employees for their dedication and passion for our brand.
“Most importantly, I would like to thank our fans for allowing us into your homes every week and being your choice of entertainment. I hold the deepest appreciation and admiration for our generations of fans all over the world who have liked, currently like, and sometimes even love our form of Sports Entertainment.”
In June, the Wall Street Journal first reported that McMahon had paid out $3 million in “hush money” to a former WWE paralegal, with whom he had a sexual relationship. He allegedly gave her a raise from $100,000 a year to $200,000. The anonymous tipster who alerted the company board to the news said that McMahon “gave her like a toy” to longtime executive John Laurinaitis, who recently exited the company. a
A subsequent investigation by the WWE board revealed that McMahon had paid out a total of $15 million to several women who were similarly former WWE employees with whom he had sexual relations, including at least one former wrestler.
According to the Journal, this former wrestler had alleged in 2018 that years back she had been coerced into oral sex by McMahon, and that she was subsequently demoted and her contract was not renewed after she cut off the relationship.
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