Vince McMahon’s exit as WWE’s CEO is finally making even more sense.
Though the initial investigation unveiled that McMahon was making hush payments related to sexual misconduct, much more money exchanges were made to former president Donald Trump.
Within the previously unearthed $20 million, it turns out that $5 million of that was sent to Trump’s foundation in 2007 and 2009. That happens to be the same two years that Trump made an appearance on televised WWE events. In 2007 he attended WrestleMania 23, where he infamously shaved McMahon’s head during the “Battle of the Billionaires,” and in 2009, he appeared on WWE Raw.
The Donald J. Trump Foundation has since been dissolved as part of a 2018 settlement with the New York state attorney general’s office over a lawsuit that alleged he’d used charity funds to pay legal settlements and promote his business. The small fortune was supposed to be used for his 2016 presidential campaign.
As part of their latest SEC filing, WWE looked into its financial statements from 2019 through the beginning of 2022 after uncovering $14.6 million worth of payments McMahon should have filed as business expenses but failed to.
Jerry McDevitt, an attorney representing WWE, spoke to The Wall Street Journal about the nature of the payments.
“Mr. Trump and WWE entered into a contract whereby WWE agreed to and did pay him personally an appearance fee of $1 million,” McDevitt said. “At the same time, the McMahons made a personal contribution to the Trump Foundation of $4 million. There was no additional fee paid to Mr. Trump, or any additional contribution to the Trump Foundation, due to the success of the event.”
Since stepping down, McMahon was replaced by his daughter Stephanie McMahon, the company’s co-CEO, and WWE President Nick Khan. Triple H has also been brought on board as the head of creative and talent.
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