Vince McMahon steps down from WWE amid misconduct allegations

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Photo credit: Ethan Miller - Getty Images
Photo credit: Ethan Miller - Getty Images

UPDATE: Vince McMahon will appear on WWE SmackDown tonight (Friday, June 17).

Following the announcement that McMahon would be stepping down as CEO and Chairman of WWE while an investigation is made into allegations of misconduct against him and the company's head of talent relations John Laurinaitis.

A press release from the WWE read: "WWE today announced that Mr McMahon will appear on SmackDown tonight at 8pm ET live on FOX."

It is not clear if McMahon will appear as his on-screen villainous Mr McMahon persona, or will be speaking out-of-character.

McMahon is currently slated to retain his role and responsibilities related to WWE's creative content while the investigation is ongoing, which inludes running SmackDown Live on Friday nights and Monday Night Raw.

ORIGINAL STORY:
Vince McMahon has stepped down as the chairman and CEO of WWE amid allegations of misconduct.

Head of talent relations John Laurinaitis has also stepped down while a Special Committee of the WWE board conducts an investigation.

This follows a report in the Wall Street Journal alleging the existence of nondisclosure agreements relating to claims of misconduct against both McMahon and Laurinaitis made by women who were formerly employed by WWE.

The newspaper also reported that the WWE board was investigating an alleged $3 million payment authorised by Vince McMahon to a departing employee with whom he allegedly had an affair.

Vince McMahon's daughter Stephanie has been named interim CEO and chairwoman, though Vince McMahon will retain his role and responsibilities related to WWE's creative content during this period.

"I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation," said Vince McMahon.

Photo credit: Michael N.Todaro - Getty Images
Photo credit: Michael N.Todaro - Getty Images

"I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are."

The company will not offer further updates until the completion of the investigation. Laurinaitis has not yet commented on the allegations reported in the Wall Street Journal or the WWE board Special Committee's investigation.

Stephanie McMahon added: "I love this company and am committed to working with the Independent Directors to strengthen our culture and our Company; it is extremely important to me that we have a safe and collaborative workplace.

Photo credit: WWE
Photo credit: WWE

"I have committed to doing everything in my power to help the Special Committee complete its work, including marshalling the cooperation of the entire company to assist in the completion of the investigation and to implement its findings."

Stephanie had announced a leave of absence from WWE just one month ago.

"As of tomorrow, I am taking a leave of absence from the majority of my responsibilities at WWE," she said at the time.

"WWE is a lifelong legacy for me and I look forward to returning to the company that I love after taking this time to focus on my family."

Her husband Paul Levesque, known in WWE as Triple H, was hospitalised last September and in March he confirmed his retirement from wrestling due to health issues.

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