Yesterday (Mar. 24), Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston shared a section of a filing WWE submitted to the United States Securities & Exchange Commission earlier in the day. It revealed more actions the company’s taken to put Vince McMahon’s hush money/sexual misconduct scandal in its rearview as it moves forward with McMahon as principal shareholder & Chairman of the Board.
New WWE filing with the SEC reports Vince McMahon yesterday paid $17.4 million toward costs for the Board's investigation, which was related to sexual misconduct allegations against him and former executive John Laurinaitis. Vince also agreed to pay additional costs incurred. pic.twitter.com/ABO5HsspTS— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) March 24, 2023
On March 20, 2023, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (the “Company”) entered into a reimbursement agreement (the “Agreement”) with Vincent K. McMahon, the Company’s Executive Chairman, director and controlling stockholder. The Agreement provides that Mr. McMahon will pay the Company approximately $17.4 million to reimburse the Company for the costs that have been incurred and paid by the Company and/or its subsidiaries, through January 31, 2023, in connection with and/or arising from the investigation conducted by a special committee of the Company’s board of directors, related revisions to the Company’s financial statements and other related matters. Such payment was made on March 23, 2023. The Agreement further provides that Mr. McMahon will also review in good faith and reimburse the Company for additional costs incurred by the Company and/or its subsidiaries subsequent to January 31, 2023 (or that have been incurred by the Company and/or its subsidiaries and not yet paid as of January 31, 2023), in connection with and/or arising from the same matters.
The Agreement also includes a release of Mr. McMahon by the Company regarding the recovery of the costs described above and a release of the Company by Mr. McMahon regarding the investigation and related matters described above.
The $17.5 million dollar payment Vince made to WWE on March 23 covers costs related to the Board’s investigation into improperly recorded payments he made to women who accused him (and former WWE executive John Laurinaitis) of sexual misconduct while he served as the company’s CEO. There may be additional reimbursement after a review of the investigation’s costs, but the cutoff date of Jan. 31, 2023 would seem to indicate the Board’s activities regarding the McMahon scandal were over by then. That makes sense, given that McMahon executed his return from a brief scandal-induced resignation/retirement earlier that month — something that involved removing members of the Board who led the investigation and replaced them with long-time Vince allies.
WWE also agrees to not take action against McMahon to recover investigation costs, and the company agrees not to take action against him regarding the investigation or its subject matter.
There are still several shareholder lawsuits pending that stem from the McMahon scandal and/or his return to the company, but this would seem to close the book internally on the matter.