Cody Rhodes Addresses Vince McMahon Sexual Abuse Allegations
WWE Superstar Cody Rhodes was shocked to read the allegations surrounding Vince McMahon, and sounded on Saturday night as though he was still digesting the news of McMahon’s resignation from the company amid a bombshell sex trafficking lawsuit.
“I know as far as the news was concerned, we were finding out and reading the same things that you guys were reading.,” Rhodes told reporters after winning the Royal Rumble. “You said a dark cloud, certainly. As far as a TKO, Nick Khan, the board clearly took it very seriously, acted immediately. Looking at the future, I don’t know the answer to that.”
McMahon, formerly the TKO executive chairman, officially resigned on Friday night after a lawsuit filed on Thursday accused him of sexually abusing and trafficking former WWE employee Janel Grant to other company executives.
Grant alleged in the lawsuit that McMahon offered her a job and promotions in exchange for sex. She also alleged that McMahon recruited her to have sex with John Laurinatis, WWE‘s former head of talent, among other executives.
“She hopes those at the company past and present who fear speaking out about harm is a thing of the past,” Grant said in a statement read by her lawyer, Ann Acllis, on the Crime Fix with Angenette Levy podcast. “She wishes them all peace.”
A spokesperson for McMahon denied the allegations and said Friday that the WWE founder “intends to defend himself vigorously.”
Ronda Rousey: Vince McMahon Will Have WWE Influence as Long as ‘Avatar‘ Bruce Prichard Is There
Ronda Rousey unexpectedly entered the chat about Vince McMahon‘s resignation from TKO, calling for the removal of Bruce Prichard, one of his longtime right-hand men running WWE‘s creative.
“Bruce Prichard is basically Vince‘s avatar, if he’s still around Vince still has a hand in the business,” Rousey posted to X on Saturday. “Vince was still running things through Bruce when he was ‘gone’ before.”
The 78-year-old McMahon stepped down from his role as executive chairman of WWE‘s new parent company TKO on Friday, a day after former WWE employee Janel Grant filed a lawsuit in Connecticut federal court accusing McMahon of sexual abuse and sex trafficking her to other WWE executives.
Prichard, 60, is currently the executive director of Raw and SmackDown and plays a major role in Wwe‘s on-screen creative, which has been headed by McMahon‘s son-in-law Paul “Triple H” Levesque since the billionaire began his six-month “retirement” in June 2022.
Prichard has not been linked to any of the accusations related to McMahon‘s alleged sexual indiscretions, and it appears Rousey is speaking strictly about his presence potentially giving McMahon a conduit to maintaining some influence over the company’s talent and creative process.
Причард has been involved in pro Wrestling since the 1980s and spent multiple stints by McMahon‘s side in WWE, the latest beginning in 2019.
Rousey worked two stints with Wwe from 2017-19 and then most recently from January 2022 to August 2023.
She is a multi-time world champion with the company.
She was with Wwe for the longtime promotor’s initial retirement, which was prompted by a Wall Street Journal report revealing the then-WWE board of directors was investigating hush money payments to women made by McMahon.
Prichard was initially named interim head of talent relations for WWE — a job that is now part of Levesque’s duties — and the rumors at the time, along with a report by the Wrestling Observer was that the move was made so McMahon still had a say in decisions during his first hiatus from the company.
He was replacing John Laurinaitis, who was ousted after his involvement in the hush money and Sexual Abuse Allegations against McMahon came to light.
McMahon returned in January to pursue a sale of Wwe — ultimately agreeing to a transaction with Endeavor for $9.2 billion last April.
Endeavor would merge WWE with the UFC to form the publicly traded TKO, which has a $21.4 billion valuation.
Rousey is a former UFC women’s bantamweight champion and the first female inductee into their Hall of Fame.