Vince McMahon resigned his position as executive chairman of TKO, the parent company of WWE, one day after a former staffer filed a lawsuit accusing the wrestling giant of sexual assault, trafficking, and physical abuse.

McMahon, a co-founder of WWE in 1982, defended his innocence but announced his decision in a statement to ESPN on Friday night. He also resigned his position from the TKO board of directors.

The move comes after former WWE staffer Janel Grant, who worked in the company’s legal and talent departments, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Connecticut accusing McMahon and former general manager John Laurinaitis of sexual misconduct.

“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.

“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 wrote. 

McMahon resigned as WWE CEO in 2022 over similar allegations.

The graphic 67-page suit filed by Grant includes allegations that McMahon, now 78, forced her into a sexual relationship in order for her to get and keep a job and passed around pornographic pictures and videos of her to other men, including Laurinaitis and other WWE employees. It also alleges that McMahon offered one of his star wrestlers — a person not named in the lawsuit — sex with Grant as a perk in 2021.

“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 wrote in a memo to all staff Friday night, ESPN reported. “He will no longer have a role with TKO Group holdings or WWE.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report. 

Mark Swanson | [email protected]

Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.

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