Vince McMahon, the head of the TKO Group holding company, bringing together the American professional wrestling league (WWE) and the mixed martial arts (MMA) UFC, announced his resignation on Friday January 26 after filing a complaint against him and accusations of sexual assault.

The announcement comes a day after a former WWE employee, Janel Grant, filed a complaint in a Connecticut court against her ex-company and Mr. McMahon, as well as another executive, John Laurinaitis, for “sexual assault.” “exploitation” and “psychological violence”.

The plaintiff accuses Vince McMahon, 78, of forcing her into an “intimate relationship,” of sharing sexual photos and videos of her with male colleagues, and of subjecting her to “ escalating perverse sexual demands,” including intimate relationships with other men. A long-time friend of former US President Donald Trump, Mr. McMahon bought the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) from his father in 1982, which he turned into a highly successful league, transforming it in 2002 into World Wrestling Entertainment ( WWE).

One billion turnover in 2022

In a press release, Vince McMahon refuted the accusations and announced that he was resigning from the board of directors of TKO Group, a holding company created last April from the merger of WWE, of which he is the co-founder, and UFC, the leading MMA organization. “I intend to vigorously defend myself against these baseless accusations and I wait to be able to clear my honor,” he added, specifying that his resignation was with “immediate effect”.

Twenty years after McMahon created WWE, the organization reached $1 billion in annual revenue in 2022. That year, however, Vince McMahon was forced to leave following accusations of relationships extramarital affairs, but also sexual harassment, cases marked by the signing of confidentiality agreements worth several million dollars. He returned to the head of the company a few months later, and led the merger of WWE with UFC, the new holding company taking the name TKO Group.

McMahon’s resignation comes as Netflix announced Tuesday that it had reached a ten-year broadcast deal with WWE. However, the platform had until now remained behind in the race for broadcasting rights to sporting events, unlike Amazon. The value of this contract is estimated at $5 billion. Since the announcement of McMahon’s departure, Netflix has made no comment.