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Sex Assault Allegation Lead to Resignation of TKO Founder Vince McMahon

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The co-founder of WWE and executive chairman of TKO Group Holdings, Vince McMahon, has announced his resignation from his executive chairmanship following a detailed sex assault lawsuit filed by ex-WWE staffer Janel Grant, Sportico reports. Allegations on McMahon include rape, defecation, and sex trafficking leading to McMahon’s immediate resignation from his executive roles.

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Abrupt Exit and Strong Denial

McMahon vehemently denies the allegations, calling Grant’s lawsuit “replete with lies” and expressing his intent to defend himself in court vigorously. However, he has chosen to resign from his positions at WWE and TKO to respect stakeholders and the wrestling community.

This sudden resignation of  McMahon’s comes after his previous ouster from WWE in 2022 due to “alleged executive misconduct,” implicating talent relations chief John Laurinaitis. The current lawsuit sheds light on a $3 million payoff to Grant in 2022 to conceal their relationship.

Despite TKO’s assertion that McMahon doesn’t control the company, the fallout may impact its recent $5 billion deal with Netflix for WWE programming, announced 48 hours before the lawsuit.

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TKO’s Response and Internal Investigation

TKO, led by CEO Ari Emanuel, distances itself from McMahon stating that he doesn’t oversee WWE’s day-to-day operations. The company pledges to address the allegations internally, emphasizing that McMahon’s actions predate the current executive team’s tenure.

Grant’s lawsuit characterizes the internal probe into McMahon’s conduct as a “sham,” raising questions about the effectiveness of the investigation and the corporate culture within WWE and TKO.

The scandal adds a layer of complexity to TKO’s recent profitable deal with Netflix, as the streaming giant ventures into wrestling content raising concerns about the long-term impact of the partnership.

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