Former WWE executive and personality Vince McMahon, 78, is under a federal investigation as he grapples with sex trafficking allegations by an ex-employee, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

The investigation stems from sexual misconduct accusations against McMahon by a number of women. “Sometime in the summer,” McMahon received a grand jury subpoena, the sources said.

The US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York is leading the investigation, the existence of which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office declined to comment.

The nature of the investigation was not immediately clear, but it could be financial after the paper reported in 2022 that McMahon agreed to pay more than $12 million in the past two decades to settle allegations of sexual misconduct.

McMahon resigned from the WWE last week after a former employee, Janel Grant, accused him in a lawsuit of inflicting “psychological torture and physical violence” while making “depraved sexual demands” in exchange for her continued employment. The lawsuit accused McMahon of trafficking Grant to other WWE employees and included graphic descriptions of alleged encounters along with explicit text messages.

McMahon has denied Grant’s allegations and told the WSJ the probe won’t find any wrongdoing. He referred the outlet to last week’s statement.

PHOTO: Vince McMahon is seen during a ceremony announcing Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has joined the Board of Directors for TKO at New York Stock Exchange on Jan. 23, 2024 in New York City.

Vince McMahon is seen during a ceremony announcing Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has joined the Board of Directors for TKO at New York Stock Exchange on Jan. 23, 2024 in New York City.

Michelle Farsi/Getty Images

“I stand by my prior statement that Ms. Grant’s lawsuit is replete with lies, obscene made-up instances that never occurred, and is a vindictive distortion of the truth. I intend to vigorously defend myself against these baseless accusations, and look forward to clearing my name,” McMahon said in a statement last week.

“However, out of respect for the WWE Universe, the extraordinary TKO business and its board members and shareholders, partners and constituents, and all of the employees and Superstars who helped make WWE into the global leader it is today, I have decided to resign from my executive chairmanship and the TKO board of directors, effective immediately,” the statement continued.

An attorney for McMahon and a spokesman for WWE did not immediately return ABC News messages seeking comment.

McMahon purchased what would become the WWE in the early 1980s from his father, Vincent J. McMahon, and took the company from a regional power in the Northeast to a national and even global power in the wrestling business over the next 40 years.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.



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