The employee claimed in a complaint filed on Thursday, that she experienced “physical and emotional abuse, sexual assault and trafficking” while working at the company
A former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) employee is suing Vince McMahon and others, claiming that she experienced “physical and emotional abuse, sexual assault and trafficking” while working at the company.
The employee, who goes by the name of Janel Grant, filed the complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut on Thursday against McMahon, WWE executive John Laurinaitis and the company. In the complaint obtained by PEOPLE, Grant accused McMahon of soliciting sex in exchange for giving her a job at the company and of abusing her during their physical relationship — even at the office — while she was employed by WWE.
Grant claimed in the document that she had gotten in touch with McMahon after telling her building’s resident manager that she needed a job, and the WWE co-founder befriended her while promising “a yet-to-be-determined role at WWE.” However, he demonstrated an “increased lack of boundaries” during preliminary meetings with her for a job, including greeting her in his “underwear,” “repeatedly asking for hugs,” and spending “hours” sharing intimate details of his life, according to the complaint.
She then claimed he “pushed” her for “a physical relationship” in exchange for her employment at the company, which she eventually “succumbed” to. She started working as an “administrator-coordinator” in the WWE’s legal department on June 17, 2019 and came to the understanding that “McMahon expected the physical relationship to continue as part of her employment,” per the complaint.
Nearly a year into their physical relationship, Grant alleged that McMahon shared “explicit photographs and videos” of her with the WWE’s tech team, executives, producers and others. She also accused McMahon of recruiting “individuals,” including Laurinaitis, to have "sexual relations" with her, and claimed that McMahon had “directed” her to visit him before her shift for “sexual encounters.”
In the complaint, she detailed some of the physical encounters she claims she experienced, which she described as “acts of extreme cruelty and degradation” including a threesome in which McMahon defecated on her. She also claimed that McMahon and Laurinaitis “sexually assaulted” her when they “cornered” her behind a locked door and “forcibly touched her.”
She said, per the complaint, that McMahon had “ordered” her to keep the relationship a secret, but then had to let her go from the company after his wife found out about their relationship in January 2022. She said he had her sign an NDA “in exchange for payments,” which he later stopped making.
She also alleged that after her employment was terminated, McMahon attempted to “traffic” her to a WWE star who was scheduled to visit New York City for a “live event and TV taping in March 2022.”
“Understandably, Defendants’ predatory conduct has left Ms. Grant crippled, both physically and mentally, including from debilitating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal ideation,” the complaint stated. “These symptoms led to her termination from her subsequent job running her building’s operations due to her inability to leave her home for weeks at a time.”
The WWE did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment on the lawsuit.
A spokesperson for WWE's parent company, TKO Group Holdings told NBC News, “Mr. McMahon does not control TKO nor does he oversee the day-to-day operations of WWE. While this matter pre-dates our TKO executive team’s tenure at the company, we take Ms. Grant’s horrific allegations very seriously and are addressing this matter internally.”
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A spokesperson for McMahon also told the news outlet that the lawsuit was “replete with lies, obscene made-up instances that never occurred and a vindictive distortion of the truth. He will vigorously defend himself.”
McMahon voluntarily stepped down from his position in June 2022 after WWE launched an investigation into allegations he paid a former employee $3 million to hide their affair. His daughter Stephanie McMahon, took over as interim co-CEO and Chairwoman in July 2022.
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Read the original article on People.