Vince McMahon is a man who clearly thinks (or thought) quite highly of his ability to perform sexually. There was a period in the early 2000s where he intended to convince the world that he is a genetic jackhammer, able to satisfy any woman’s needs.
McMahon had storylines where he was involved with Candice Michelle, Sable, Stacy Keibler, Torrie Wilson and Trish Stratus. McMahon clearly delighted in making out with each of them and it wasn’t rare to see him doing the tongue tango with one of his female WWE Superstars (or Divas, as they were known at the time).
It can be difficult to differentiate between fantasy and reality and some assumed that McMahon was actually sleeping with members of the WWE female roster. In an interview published in the February 2001 issue of Playboy, McMahon admitted to having cheated on his wife, Linda McMahon, and bragged about his sexual appetite.
When asked whether he had been faithful to Linda, Vince responded, “Not necessarily faithful. I probably lied to myself, thinking she knew who I was when we got married. The wild guy. But I never, ever threw anything in her face. I was discreet. And Linda never suffered from a lack of attention, physical or emotional. But one day she asked me, point-blank, ‘Are you having an affair with so-and-so?’ And I’ve never lied to her.
“It crushed her. Then she asked, ‘What about such and such?’
“It went on. More names. I said, ‘Yes, yes and yes.'”
In response to whether his affairs were at different times or concurrent, he responded, “Different times. Some were concurrent, but I didn’t think she had to know that. She didn’t ask that question or I’d have to say yes to that, too. It’s not something I’m proud of. I just didn’t realize the impact of messing with other people’s lives. Notwithstanding the impact on my wife, I’m talking about the havoc you create in other lives, just from wanting to have a good time. There’s no such thing as an innocent fling. When a woman commits to a sexual encounter, it’s generally with a great deal of emotion. With very few exceptions, it’s not just, ‘Let’s have sex! Boy, that was great. Okay, see you.’ Women don’t do that. So I guess, maybe . . . I hurt a lot of people. The sex was terrific, but from an emotional standpoint, I regret it.”
Vince continued, “I learned about the ramifications of a sexual relationship if you’re married. You’re touching a lot of lives, mostly negatively. You think it was just supposed to be sexual. We were supposed to have a great time and be better off. But it’s always more complicated than that. It can interfere with your own life, too. Having an affair, running off here and there, can take a lot of energy. It takes a lot of effort, a lot of time. The last five or six years, I’ve found that I not only appreciate my wife more, but I can get a hell of a lot more done.”
When asked if he continued cheating on Linda, Vince said, “I have been not only loyal but faithful for about six years.”
Vince said, “Linda and I have a great marriage, and I don’t want to screw it up. I’m not saying I don’t look. I’m not saying I won’t fall off the wagon one day. I hope not, because of all the complications and because I would have to tell her if she asked me. But other than for the innate id, I don’t have a desire to go outside our relationship.”
On April 3, 1992, Rita Chatterton, a former referee noted for her stint as Rita Marie in WWE in the 1980s (then known as the World Wrestling Federation, or the WWF) and for being the first female referee in the company, appeared on Geraldo Rivera’s talk show Now It Can Be Told. She claimed that on July 16, 1986, McMahon tried to force her to perform oral sex on him in his limousine. When she refused, he raped her. Former professional wrestler Leonard Inzitari, who wrestled for the WWF from 1984 to 1991 under the name Mario Mancini, corroborated Chatterton’s allegations in a 2022 interview with New York Magazine.
According to a report published by The Wall Street Journal on June 15, 2022, the WWE Board of Directors began investigating a $3 million hush money settlement that McMahon paid over an alleged affair with a former employee of the company two months earlier. The Wall Street Journal reported on July 8, 2022, that the investigation also revealed other nondisclosure agreements related to misconduct claims by three other women who formerly worked for WWE against McMahon and executive John Laurinaitis, totaling $12 million from 2006 to 2022. One of the four women is a former wrestler.
McMahon allegedly paid $7.5 million to the former wrestler, who claimed that he coerced her into giving him oral sex, demoted her and then decided not to renew her contract in 2005 after she resisted further sexual encounters with him. The wrestler and her lawyer reportedly negotiated a non-disclosure agreement with McMahon in 2018.
Four female performers who were on WWE’s main roster in 2005 parted ways with the company that year. They are Christy Hemme, Dawn Marie, Jackie Gayda and Molly Holly. WWE released both Dawn Marie and Gayda along with several other male wrestlers in July 2005. Holly requested her release from WWE in April 2005, which was immediately granted. This would indicate Hemme as the woman in question since she was the only female main roster performer to have been demoted and released in 2005 (on December 5, 2005).
On June 17, 2022, McMahon stepped down as CEO and Chairman of WWE, but continued to oversee content development. He announced his retirement on July 22, 2022, only to return six months later. The Wall Street Journal reported in August 2022 that McMahon agreed to pay $14.6 million to the four women to settle allegations of sexual misconduct from 2006 to 2022.
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Chatterton and a tanning spa worker filed sexual abuse lawsuits against McMahon in December 2022. The tanning spa worker alleged that McMahon assaulted her in California in 2011. McMahon settled the lawsuit involving Chatterton in December, with his attorney stating that he maintains his innocence but settled to “avoid the cost of litigation”. People familiar with the matter reported that McMahon agreed to a multimillion-dollar settlement with Chatterton. Though the exact sum of the settlement payment was not publicly disclosed, it has been acknowledged Chatterton sought $11.75 million in damages in her lawsuit.
WWE agreed to merge with UFC to form a new publicly traded company controlled by Endeavor Group, the companies announced on April 3, 2023. McMahon addressed the merger during an interview with Scott Wapner on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street. At the conclusion of the interview, Wapner asked McMahon, “I want to ask you about how you think about your legacy given where you took this company, what’s happened in the last year, the regrets you may have as a result of all that and how you think your legacy will and your story will be told.”
McMahon replied, “Well, let me just say I’ve made mistakes, obviously, personally and professionally through my 50-year career. I’ve owned up to every single one of them and then moved on. I’m not sure of the legacy stuff. I’m not going to write it. I don’t know. I want to say, as someone who had an extraordinary amount of fun, great passion for what they did and wound up with the biggest deal he’s ever done in his life.”