Vince McMahon Sex Trafficking and Abuse Lawsuit Paused for Justice Department Investigation

Janel Grant’s attorney says her lawsuit against WWE and its former chairman is being delayed as the DOJ conducts its own probe

An older man with dyed hair and a mustache stands at a podium with the letters "TKO" behind him in a stylized green logo. The man is Vince McMahon.
Vince McMahon at a podium at the New York Stock Exchange ceremony announcing Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson had joined the Board of Directors for TKO Group Holdings on Jan. 23, 2024.

Former World Wrestling Entertainment employee Janel Grant has agreed to pause her sex trafficking and abuse lawsuit against former WWE chairman Vince McMahon, former WWE executive John Laurinaitis and the WWE itself pending an ongoing federal investigation.

Grant’s attorney Ann Callis told TheWrap in a statement Thursday that the case was being put on hold due to a request from the Department of Justice. A series of sealed documents were submitted by the Justice Department in the case on Thursday.

“Ms. Grant has consented to a request by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York to stay her case against Mr. McMahon, WWE and Mr. Laurinaitis, pursuant to a pending non-public investigation,” Callis said. “We will cooperate with all appropriate next steps.”

Citing a source close to the case, Bloomberg reported that the stay in the case is expected to last six months.

McMahon’s attorney Jessica Rosenberg said in a statement sent to TheWrap, “We remain confident the evidence will prove Ms. Grant’s allegations are false and her complaint is nothing more than a fabricated, vindictive narrative from a disgruntled former girlfriend.”

Grant’s suit against McMahon, Laurinaitis and WWE accused McMahon of sexually exploiting her, including in situations involving other WWE employees. The detailed lawsuit includes graphic descriptions of what McMahon and others allegedly did, including that McMahon and former executive Laurinaitis sexually assaulted Grant inside WWE headquarters. Following the filing of the suit, McMahon resigned from his role as executive board chairman of WWE parent company TKO Group Holdings, which also controls mixed-martial arts sports league UFC.

The Justice Department’s investigation into McMahon for sexual misconduct and sex trafficking was previously reported by outlets, including The Wall Street Journal and ABC News.

McMahon, Laurinaitis and the WWE had previously been seeking to move the Grant suit to arbitration, citing a prior non-disclosure agreement between Grant and McMahon. McMahon had ceased making payments under the NDA after news of Grant and McMahon’s relationship initially broke, with Grant subsequently filing a suit and arguing that McMahon’s non-payment meant the NDA was no longer in effect.

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