A lawsuit filed today in a Connecticut court accuses the WWE, Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis of a number of charges including sex trafficking.

Filed on behalf of ex-WWE employee Ms. Janel Grant by Ann Callis of the Holland Law Firm, the suit claims the accused parties participated in sex trafficking, as well as sexual and emotional abuse against Grant for years.

“Today’s complaint seeks to hold accountable two WWE executives who sexually assaulted and trafficked Plaintiff Janel Grant, as well as the organization that facilitated or turned a blind eye to the abuse and then swept it under the rug,” said Ann Callis, attorney for Ms. Grant. “She is an incredibly private and courageous person who has suffered deeply at the hands of Mr. McMahon and Mr. Laurinaitis.  Ms. Grant hopes that her lawsuit will prevent other women from being victimized. The organization is well aware of Mr. McMahon’s history of depraved behavior, and it’s time that they take responsibility for the misconduct of its leadership.”

The complaint accuses McMahon of subjecting her to “extreme cruelty and degradation” that caused her to become “numb to reality to survive the horrific encounters”.

Court documents state that Grant sought work with the WWE when her family fell into bankruptcy. Grant claims that “during several meetings that were ostensibly about a potential job at WWE, McMahon greeted her in his underwear, touched her, repeatedly asked for hugs and spent hours sharing intimate details about his personal life”.

According to Grant, McMahon “warned” her to keep their “closeness” a secret and “while he protects loyal people, he had world-class legal resources on speed-dial to deal with people who became a problem”. McMahon pushed Ms. Grant for a physical relationship in return for long-promised job at the WWE.

While in a relationship with McMahon, Grant was hired in 2019 as administrator-coordinator a position she says McMahon created for her in WWE’s legal department. In 2021, she was transferred to the Talent Relations department, reporting to John Laurinaitis. She started as a lower level director but was promised she would be promoted to Vice President after a 12 months.

Grant says that without her permission McMahon began sharing sexually explicit photographs he took and videos her recorded of her with other men both inside and outside the company including “a world-famous athlete and former UFC Heavyweight Champion with whom WWE was actively trying to sign to a new contract”.

Grant states that the unwanted demands become worse with McMahon “recruiting” people to have sex with her and them.

She was instructed to also visit Laurinaitis prior to the start of workdays for sexual encounters. She was “expected and directed to engage in sexual activity at the WWE headquarters, even during working hours”.

Grant accuses McMahon of “subjecting her to acts of extreme cruelty and degradation”.

In the suit, Grant gives one example stating McMahon “defecated on her during a threesome and then commanded her to continue pleasuring his friend with feces in her hair and running down her back. Upon his return from the bathroom, McMahon and his friend actively resumed the threesome, which lasted over an hour and a half, while Ms. Grant remained covered in McMahon’s filth. When McMahon’s friend left, McMahon ordered her to stay and to continue to sexually gratify him.”

In another example, Grant says “McMahon and Laurinaitis sexually assaulted her inside Laurinaitis’ office in WWE headquarters while colleagues were busy at their desks. Behind
a locked door, the two men cornered her and pulled her in between them, forcibly touched her, before ultimately putting her on top of a table in between them. She begged them to stop, but they forced themselves on her, each taking turns restraining her for the other, while saying: No means yes! and Take it, bitch!”.

In 2022, Grant says that McMahon told her that his wife had found out about their affair and to “avoid divorce, negative publicity and other repercussions” her time at WWE was over and he demanded she sign an NDA.

“Ultimately, Ms. Grant succumbed to the pressure and signed the NDA in exchange for payments – which McMahon later stopped making”, states the filing.

Even after the end of their relationship Grant says that “McMahon attempted to traffic her to a WWE star who would be in New York City for a live event and TV taping in March 2022″.

Through the suit, Grant wishes to void the nondisclosure agreement between herself and McMahon. McMahon had agreed to pay her $3 million but she says he stopped making payments once $1 million dollars had been reached.

The suit follows federal lawsuit enforcement agents executing a search warrant and served McMahon with a grand jury through an investigation of his million dollar payments to women after allegations of sexual misconduct.

The lawsuit also accuses the WWE of leaking information that led to the public disclosure of her name by a media blogger who cited “a source in WWE with direct knowledge of the situation,” which, upon information and belief, was an overt intimidation tactic aimed at Ms. Grant”.

This is the scandal that led to McMahon’s 2022 departure.

— With Files from John Powell