Report: WWE boss McMahon’s quiet account tops $12 million

NEW YORK (AP) — Longtime World Wrestling Entertainment impresario Vince McMahon has agreed to pay more than $12 million over the past 16 years to end allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The amount is much higher than previously known.

The four women — all formerly associated with WWE — have signed agreements with McMahon, 76, barring them from discussing their relationships with him, the Journal reported Friday, citing people familiar with the deals and documents it has reviewed.

McMahon stepped down as WWE CEO and chairman in mid-June amid an investigation into alleged misconduct, and the Journal reported at the time that he agreed to pay $3 million to a former legal assistant who said he sexually harassed her at work.

McMahon will continue to oversee WWE’s creative content during the investigation.

WWE named McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie, as interim CEO and chairman during an investigation into his alleged wrongdoing, though he continued to oversee the creative side of the company.

McMahon has been the leader and most recognizable face of WWE for decades. When he purchased what was then called the World Wrestling Federation from his father in 1982, wrestling matches were held in small venues and shown on local cable channels.

WWE matches are now held in professional sports stadiums, and the organization has a significant following overseas. It has a partnership with the Saudi media company MBC Group.

The organization underwent a seismic transformation under McMahon’s leadership with events like WrestleMania, a top-notch live production that draws millions of die-hard viewers.

Revenue topped $1 billion for the first time last year, and the company has television deals with Fox and NBCUniversal. Last month, the company announced a multi-year extension of its original programming partnership with A&E.

WWE stars became sensations, including Hulk Hogan, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and John Cena.

Shares of Stamford, Connecticut-based World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. fell 2% on Friday.

There was no immediate response to phone and email messages left with a WWE spokesperson seeking comment on the report.

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