Vince McMahon has footed the $17.4 million bill for the WWE’s investigation into the misconduct allegations raised against him, which triggered his brief retirement.
The wrestling executive reimbursed the sports entertainment company on Thursday for all costs associated with the probe through Jan. 31, according to an SEC filing by the WWE on Friday. McMahon has said he will also cover any costs incurred by the investigation subsequent to that date.
McMahon — credited with turning the WWE into an entertainment and pop culture powerhouse — voluntarily stepped away from his empire in June, after the Wall Street Journal published a report about alleged hush money payments he made as CEO.
In total, the wrestling honcho was accused of shelling out $12 million to four different female employees at the wrestling network — all of whom signed agreements in exchange for their silence on allegations of sexual misconduct.
McMahon retired a month after his resignation. But earlier this year, he leveraged his power as the WWE’s controlling shareholder to appoint himself and two former WWE executives to the company’s board, which subsequently named him executive chairman.
His daughter Stephanie McMahon, who served as co-CEO in her father’s absence alongside Nick Khan, stepped down after he rejoined the company. His controversial return rattled investors and board members, but McMahon defended his takeover, claiming it is the “only way” for the company to thrive.
“WWE is entering a critical juncture in its history with the upcoming media rights negotiations coinciding with increased industry-wide demand for quality content and live events and with more companies seeking to own the intellectual property on their platforms,” McMahon said at the time.
“The only way for WWE to fully capitalize on this opportunity is for me to return as executive chairman and support the management team in the negotiations for our media rights and to combine that with a review of strategic alternatives.”