Vince McMahon is stepping down as CEO and chairman of WWE during an an investigation into alleged misconduct involving the longtime leader and public face of the organization.
McMahon will continue to oversee WWE’s creative content during the investigation, World Wrestling Entertainment said Friday, and named McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie, as interim CEO and chairwoman.
Vince McMahon will appear on its live show “SmackDown” later Friday, WWE said on Twitter after it announced the changes in leadership of the organization.
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that WWE was investigating an alleged $3 million settlement that McMahon paid to a departing female employee following a consensual affair.
“I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the special committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation,” McMahon said in a prepared statement Friday. “I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are.”
The employee, hired as a paralegal in 2019, has a separation agreement from January that prevents her from discussing her relationship with McMahon or disparaging him, the Journal reported.
The board’s investigation, which started in April, found other, older nondisclosure agreements involving claims by former female WWE employees of misconduct by McMahon and John Laurinaitis, the head of talent relations at WWE, the Journal reported.
Aside from the investigation into the alleged misconduct by McMahon and Laurinaitis, WWE said that the company and its special committee will work with an independent third-party to perform a comprehensive review of the work environment at the organization.
Vince McMahon has been the leader and most recognizable face at WWE for decades.
When he purchased the company, then the World Wrestling Federation, from his father in 1982, wrestling matches took place at small venues and appeared on local cable channels.
The organization underwent a seismic transformation under McMahon. He created WrestleMania, a premium live event that draws millions of fervent viewers.
Revenue last year exceeded $1 billion for the first time.
WWE stars have become crossover sensations, including Hulk Hogan, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and John Cena.
Stephanie McMahon, who will take over at least temporarily as the leader of WWE, announced last month that she was taking a leave of absence from the most of her responsibilities at the organization. She had been serving as the company’s chief brand officer.
Her husband, Paul Levesque, who wrestled under the name Triple H, announced in March that he was retiring from wrestling due to a heart condition. Levesque serves as WWE’s executive vice president of strategy and development.
“I have committed to doing everything in my power to help the Special Committee complete its work, including marshaling the cooperation of the entire company to assist in the completion of the investigation and to implement its findings,” she said in a statement.
Shares of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., based in Stamford, Connecticut, slid less than 1% at the opening bell Friday.
Mishael Morgan becomes first Black artist to win Best Actress Daytime Emmy
Mishael Morgan won the Best Lead Actress Daytime Emmy Award on Friday. Photo courtesy of CBS
June 25 (UPI) — The Young & the Restless star Mishael Morgan became the first Black artist to win a Daytime Emmy Award in the Best Lead Actress category in Pasadena Friday night.
“I was born on a tiny island in the Caribbean, and I’m now standing on an international stage and I am being honored regardless of the color of my skin, regardless of my passport, for being the best at what I do,” Morgan said as she accepted her statuette.
“Now there are little girls around the world and no matter what the industry, the vocation … they can strive to be the best.”
The actress also thanked viewers for their support since she joined the soap opera in 2013.
“I am so immensely proud of our generation,” she said. “We are breaking glass ceilings left right and center and I am so honored to be a vessel and to experience this moment. Everybody out there today, we can do this thing called equality and unity together.”
BTS’ ‘Proof’ tops U.S. album chart
BTS’ “Proof” is No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. File Photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI | License Photo
June 25 (UPI) — K-pop group BTS’ Proof is the No. 1 album in the United States this week.
Coming in at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart dated Saturday is Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti, followed by Harry Styles’ Harry’s House at No. 3, Post Malone’s Twelve Carat Toothache at No. 4 and Future’s I Never Liked You at No. 5.
Rounding out the top tier are Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album at No. 6, Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers at No. 7, Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour at No. 8, SZA’s Ctrl at No. 9 and Carrie Underwood’s Denim & Rhinestones at No. 10.
Shooting at Oslo, Norway, gay bar leaves 2 dead
Police investigate the scene after several shots were fired outside the London Pub in the center of Oslo, Norway, on Saturday. Photo by Javad Parsa/EPA-EFE
June 25 (UPI) — Oslo, Norway, canceled its gay pride parade and raised its terror threat to the highest level Saturday after a shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub left two people dead and 21 injured, authorities said.
The shooting took place at 1:14 a.m. Saturday at the London Pub, a second bar and a fast-food restaurant. Police arrested a suspected gunman who they believe acted alone.
Of those injured, 10 were in serious condition.
Police haven’t identified the suspected shooter, but described him as being a 42-year-old Norwegian citizen of Iranian descent, according to Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. CNN reported he was “known to police” and had minor previous convictions.
Authorities said they seized two weapons from him upon the arrest.
Roger Berg, the head of Norway’s domestic intelligence and security service, said the shooting was being investigated as an act of “extreme Islamist terror,” according to The Washington Post.
The suspect was being held on charges of murder, attempted murder and terrorism, police official Christian Hatlo said.
The attack happened hours before the city’s planned gay pride parade. Organizers said pride events scheduled for Saturday have been canceled upon police advice.
Despite the cancellation, thousands of people joined an impromptu parade outside the nightclubs where the shooting took place. Many waved gay pride flags, while others shouted slogans of support for gay rights.
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