Vince McMahon, co-founder of modern WWE, resigns from TKO Board after allegations of sexual misconduct, ESPN reports

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Vince McMahon, who co-founded the modern WWE in 1982, has resigned from his roles as TKO Executive Chairman and from his position on the TKO Board of Directors, he said in a statement provided to ESPN on Friday night.

McMahon, 78, leaves the publicly traded company — which is also the parent group of the UFC — following a lawsuit filed Thursday that accuses him of sexual misconduct.

In the lawsuit, Janel Grant, who worked in WWE’s legal and talent departments, alleged that McMahon forced her into a sexual relationship in order for her to obtain and keep her job and passed around pornographic pictures and videos of her to other men, including other employees. The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, where WWE is headquartered, also names WWE and John Laurinaitis, the company’s former head of talent relations and general manager, as defendants.

“I stand by my prior statement that Ms. Grant’s lawsuit is replete with lies, obscene made-up instances that never occurred, and is a vindictive distortion of the truth,” McMahon said in the statement. “I intend to vigorously defend myself against these baseless accusations, and look forward to clearing my name.

“However, out of respect for the WWE Universe, the extraordinary TKO business and its board members and shareholders, partners and constituents, and all of the employees and Superstars who helped make WWE into the global leader it is today, I have decided to resign from my executive chairmanship and the TKO board of directors, effective immediately.”

McMahon stepped down as WWE’s CEO in 2022 amid an investigation into allegations that match those in the lawsuit.

“I wanted to inform you that Vince McMahon has tendered his resignation from his positions as TKO Executive Chairman and on the TKO Board of Directors,” WWE president Nick Khan told all staff in a memo obtained by ESPN on Friday night. “He will no longer have a role with TKO Group holdings or WWE.”

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