John Laurinaitis has been working as WWE's Head of Talent Relations since being rehired by the company back in March 2021. However, the former wrestler was specifically brought up in last week's Wall Street Journal report regarding Vince McMahon and a $3 million payout to a former WWE paralegal to keep an alleged affair quiet. An internal memo was released late Monday night announcing Laurinaitis has been placed on administrative leave "pending the conclusion of our Board of Directors' internal investigation." Bruce Prichard will now be stepping in as the interim Head of Talent Relations on top of his role as Executive Director for both Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.
Wall Street Journal's report first mentioned Laurinaitis by stating, "The board's investigation, which began in April, has unearthed other, older nondisclosure agreements involving claims by former female WWE employees of misconduct by Mr. McMahon and one of his top executives, John Laurinaitis, the head of talent relations at WWE, the people said." Laurinaitis has reportedly not been backstage at WWE events since the initial report dropped.
A number of emails from an anonymous friend of the paralegal were sent to WWE's Board of Directors earlier this year, which prompted the investigation into McMahon. The first of those emails directly mentioned Laurinaitis.
"The first email, sent to board members on March 30, alleged that Mr. McMahon, 76 years old, initially hired the woman at a salary of $100,000 but increased it to $200,000 after beginning a sexual relationship with her. The email to the board also alleged that Mr. McMahon 'gave her like a toy' to Mr. Laurinaitis," the report mentioned.
As for McMahon, the 76-year-old has temporarily stepped down from his role as Chairman and CEO during the investigation with his daughter, Stephanie McMahon, stepping into the position on an interim basis. However, McMahon will continue to run WWE's creative as its head booker and has appeared on both SmackDown and Raw in the past week. He hasn't mentioned the investigation on TV.
"Until the conclusion of the investigation into recent allegations, I am honored to assume the role of interim Chairwoman & CEO. I love @WWE and all it continues to do to entertain billions around the world," Stephanie wrote on Twitter last week. Stay tuned for more updates on the situation as they become available.