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Report: WWE Fires Talent Executive in Wake of McMahon’s Scandal

Sports Illustrated logo Sports Illustrated 8/8/2022 Joseph Currier, Wrestling Observer
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John Laurinaitis is officially gone from WWE after initially being placed on leave amid Vince McMahon’s hush money scandal.

After being placed on leave amid Vince McMahon’s hush money scandal, John Laurinaitis is officially gone from WWE.

PWInsider reported Monday that Laurinaitis was quietly let go from WWE at some point “within the last week or so.” The 60-year-old Laurinaitis was WWE’s head of talent relations until being put on administrative leave in June.

In June, the Wall Street Journal reported that the WWE board of directors was investigating McMahon and Laurinaitis over a “secret” $3 million settlement that McMahon had agreed to pay a former WWE paralegal whom he allegedly had an affair with. The report included an allegation that McMahon had given the paralegal to Laurinaitis “like a toy.”

The Wall Street Journal wrote that the board of directors’ investigation had also uncovered “other, older nondisclosure agreements involving claims by former female WWE employees of misconduct” by McMahon and Laurinaitis.

A follow-up report last month revealed that McMahon had agreed to pay more than $12 million to four different women over the past 16 years to “suppress allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity.” The report also stated that the WWE board of directors was looking into a $1.5 million nondisclosure agreement from 2012 that involved misconduct claims against Laurinaitis. A former employee claimed that Laurinaitis demoted her after she ended an affair with him.

Laurinaitis, who formerly wrestled in Japan and for WCW, worked for WWE in behind-the-scenes roles for two decades. He’s also made appearances on WWE television programs as an on-screen general manager.

Laurinaitis was WWE’s head of talent relations from 2004 until 2012, when he was demoted to a producer. In 2021, Laurinaitis regained his old role leading WWE’s talent relations department.

The Wall Street Journal wrote that Laurinaitis’s 2012 demotion came around the same time as the $1.5 million nondisclosure agreement.

Paul “Triple H” Levesque was named WWE’s new executive vice president of talent relations on July 22. Along with that role, Levesque is also now in charge of WWE creative following McMahon’s retirement.

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