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Vince McMahon, longtime WWE leader, retires amid sexual misconduct allegations

Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H attend the UFC 276 event at T-Mobile Arena on July 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jeff Bottari
Zuffa LLC
Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H attend the UFC 276 event at T-Mobile Arena on July 2, 2022, in Las Vegas.

Vince McMahon, the former World Wrestling Entertainment chief executive, announced his retirement in a statement Friday.

McMahon's retirement comes amid controversy. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that McMahon had paid more than $12 million in hush money over a span of 16 years to suppress allegations of sexual misconduct. It also reported that a WWE board investigation had uncovered several non-disclosure agreements related to sexual misconduct claims made by women against McMahon and colleague John Laurinaitis.

In June, McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon, was named interim chairperson and CEO. Stephanie McMahon and WWE President Nick Khan have now been named co-CEOs.

Also on Friday, Laurinaitis was replaced as executive vice president of talent relations by Stephanie McMahon’s husband, Paul Levesque. Levesque is known to WWE fans as 14-time world champion Triple H.

“I look forward to returning to my prior position as head of Talent Relations. I’m healthy, fired up, and ready to take charge,” Levesque said in a statement released Friday by WWE.

Levesque retired from the ring earlier this year. He told ESPN that a bout with viral pneumonia last year resulted in heart failure. He also said he had a defibrillator implanted in his chest.

In addition to his time starring in the ring, Levesque has held various jobs in the WWE boardroom since 2010.

The WWE confirmed to Connecticut Public Radio Friday afternoon that the retirement is not a storyline for the sports entertainment company.

Vince McMahon looms over the company he bought from his father Vincent J. McMahon 40 years ago.

“As I approach 77 years old, I feel it’s time for me to retire as Chairman and CEO of WWE,” McMahon said in a statement released Friday. “Throughout the years, it’s been a privilege to help WWE bring you joy, inspire you, thrill you, surprise you, and always entertain you.”

“As the majority shareholder, I will continue to support WWE in any way I can.”

If you read any of Frankie Graziano’s previous biographies, they’d be all about his passion for sports. But times change – and he’s a family man now.