Vince McMahon stepped down from WWE parent company TKO last week (Picture: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
The former executive was named as a defendant in last week’s sex trafficking lawsuit against McMahon and the WWE by former employee Janel Grant.
In a statement to VICE News, Laurinaitis’ attorney alleged his client is also a victim and insisted ‘the truth will come out’.
Lawyer Edward Brennan said: ‘Mr. Laurinaitis denies the allegations in the misguided complaint and will be vigorously defending these charges in Court, not the media.
‘Like the Plaintiff, Mr. Laurinaitis is a victim in this case, not a predator. The truth will come out.’
The outlet responded to the attorney to clarify if he was claiming Laurinaitis was a victim like Ms Grant, and Brennan added: ‘Read the allegations. Read the Federal Statute.
John Laurinaitis has denied the allegations against him while claiming he is a victim in the case (Picture: WWE)
‘Power, control, employment supervisory capacity, dictatorial sexual demands with repercussions if not met. Count how many times in the complaint Vince exerts control over both of them.’
In her lawsuit, Grant alleges that McMahon told her to create ‘explicit content’ for Laurinaitis – who was head of talent relations at the time – as well as arranging a threesome between them.
It’s also alleged that McMahon scheduled appoints for her to sexually service him, while after the threesome she was transferred to Laurinaitis’ talent relations department.
Grant alleged that the move carried ‘the expectation, from both McMahon and Laurinaitis, that she engage with Laurinaitis sexually, both physically and with explicit content’.
McMahon claimed the lawsuit is ‘replete with lies’ (Picture: Bob Levey/WireImage)
Last week, McMahon resigned from his role as chairman of WWE parent company TKO, while denying the allegations.
He said: ‘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.’
Responding to questions about the lawsuit after last weekend’s Royal Rumble event, WWE’s chief content officer Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque wanted to ‘focus on the positive’.
WWE boss Triple H – real name Paul Levesque – during Royal Rumble press conference
Levesque admitted that he ‘did not’ read the lawsuit filed this week, noting that ‘we all found out [in] real time’ as he added: ‘This is an amazing week for us, and at this point, I don’t wanna get bogged down in the negatives of it. I wanna focus on the positives of where we’re going.’
News of the lawsuit came after TKO welcomed Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson onto its board of directors, as well as announcing a $5 billion deal with Netflix as the new home of Raw, as well as WWE as a whole outside the United States, starting in January 2025.
Asked if there were any concerns about McMahon during the streaming platform’s Next on Netflix press event on Thursday, the company’s content chief Bela Bajaria said: ‘He’s gone. So he’s not there. He’s gone.’
On the subject of WWE joining its roster of programming, Brandon Riegg, VP of nonfiction, added: ‘The truth is we don’t know how much bigger it can get. I think we’re all really bullish on it, but we know that has an incredibly consistent audience for the last several decades.’
Who is John Laurinaitis?
Lauritaitis had a significant role behind the scenes (Picture: WWE)
John Laurinaitis served is a retired wrestler who later served as WWE’s head of talent relations, as well as a spell working as a producer helping wrestlers with their matches.
He is married to the mother of WWE Hall of Famers’ Nikki and Brie Garcia, also known as the Bella Twins.
In a statement this week, which didn’t name either defendant, they said: ‘We are shocked and disheartened with the recent allegations against members of the WWE.
‘It has been a lot to process since we found out this past week, just as you all did. This is something we don’t stand for or condone from anyone no matter who they are.
‘We want all women to feel safe and supported in the workplace and in their everyday lives.’
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