Content warning: Mentions of sexual assault and trafficking
Billionaire WWE kingpin Vince McMahon — the subject of countless sexual misconduct allegations stemming from alleged incidents that span almost four decades — has once again been accused of sexual assault.
Ironically, this allegation, which comes in the form of a lawsuit that alleges both assault and trafficking, may not have come to light had the uber-rich wrestling promoter used just a small portion of his wealth to pay one of his (undoubtedly numerous) hush bills.
McMahon failed to pay former WWE staffer Janel Grant per the terms of a nondisclosure agreement he allegedly pressured her to sign in 2022 in exchange for a total of $3 million in periodic payouts.
The NDA forbade Grant from discussing her personal relationship with McMahon or discussing McMahon in a negative light publicly. Specifically, Grant alleges that McMahon sexually and emotionally abused her for years and coerced her to engage in sexual acts with others to advance his business interests — a sadly familiar story when it comes to McMahon and the WWE.
Vince McMahon has once again been publicly accused of sexual abuse (via a new lawsuit) after failing to pay his alleged victim, Janel Grant, to uphold the terms of an NDA he allegedly pressured her to sign.
McMahon reportedly stopped making payments on this NDA after the first $1 million installment, paving the way for the new lawsuit, which, if successful, would void the NDA and seek financial damages from McMahon.
The fact that McMahon reportedly defaulted on the latest of his “keep quiet” bills leaves many wondering how much the villainous (both in and out of the ring) wrestling boss is worth.
What is Vince McMahon’s net worth?
McMahon’s net worth sits at an estimated $2.8 billion as of early 2024 (down from a high of $3.2 billion in 2019), leaving many to wonder why he couldn’t keep up his periodic $1 million NDA payments to Grant.
While it’s certainly possible that the 78-year-old executive chair of TKO Holdings (WWE’s parent company) simply didn’t have the liquidity to keep up with his bills, it is perhaps just as likely McMahon has simply grown so used to the many sexual assault allegations that have marred his 50+ year career in professional wrestling that he isn’t particularly concerned about Grant’s potential case against him.
What is Vince McMahon’s Salary at the WWE?
McMahon actually stepped down as CEO and chairman of WWE in July 2022 as a result of — you guessed it — a sea of misconduct allegations from numerous women formerly employed by the organization, but by March of 2023, he was back with the WWE full time.
His new contract, signed in March of 2023, reportedly granted him an annual base salary of $1.2 million plus potential bonuses and stock awards that could more than double that figure. This compensation package could come in handy for the Chairman if Grant’s lawsuit is successful and he is ordered to pay damages.
Vince and wife Linda McMahon attend the New York Moves Magazine’s 10th Anniversary Power Women Gala at the Grand Hyatt New York in 2013.
Vince McMahon’s fortune-making career in pro wrestling
McMahon’s wrestling empire hasn’t always been the behemoth it is today. He first bought the WWF in 1982, during a time when wrestling promotion was a regional business, and each outfit had its own local territory. Over the years that followed, he expanded his business beyond the informal northeast bounds, stepping on many toes in the process.
By hiring on talent from other groups like the American Wrestling Association and expanding the WWF’s live performances and broadcasts geographically, he began to consolidate pro wrestling into a mainstream national sport.
The first WrestleMania was held at Madison Square Garden in 1985, and by 1987, WrestleMania III garnered a record 93,173 attendees, all ravenous to watch Hulk Hogan, McMahon’s biggest protagonist, face off against André the Giant.
The WWF struggled for a time against rival World Championship Wrestling (WCW), before eventually overtaking it in what was then known as the Monday Night Ratings Wars. McMahon acquired WCW and his last remaining competitor, Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) soon after.
In the years that followed, the WWE entered what was known as its PG Era, during which more heavily scripted matches with less edge allowed the programming to appeal to an even broader audience and attract a broader array of corporate sponsorships.
When McMahon returned to the WWE in 2023 after his short-lived retirement, the company merged with the UFC under the publicly traded TKO brand, which McMahon reportedly owns about 34% of.
As of October 2023, however, it was reported that Ari Emmanual, CEO of Endeavor Holdings (TKO’s majority shareholder), relieved McMahon of any creative direction in the WWE’s ongoing operations.