Vince McMahon calls sexual misconduct allegations against him ‘pure fiction’

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Former WWE boss Vince McMahon pushed back on sexual abuse and sex trafficking allegations against him in a court filing on Tuesday, calling the claims “pure fiction.”

McMahon’s response was filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut. Janel Grant filed a lawsuit against McMahon and former WWE executive John Laurinaitis in January and claimed McMahon lured her to the company with the promises of a stellar career, only to be sexually exploited by him and people he called his “friends” between 2019 and 2022.

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Vince McMahon is on hand for an XFL game at Giants Stadium. (Andrew Savulich/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

The billionaire denied the allegations as he stepped down as executive chairman of TKO Group Holdings. He further intimated that in Tuesday’s response.

“The Complaint’s outrageous claims of sexual abuse and coercion are pure fiction—plainly intended to garner publicity—and are flatly contradicted by Plaintiff’s own contemporaneous statements,” McMahon’s filing said. “Contrary to Plaintiff’s false allegations, Plaintiff and Defendant (collectively, the ‘Parties’) engaged in a consensual relationship during which Defendant never coerced Plaintiff into doing anything and never mistreated her in any way. 

“In fact, in a love letter Plaintiff wrote to Defendant shortly before the Parties ended their relationship, Plaintiff described Defendant as ‘[m]y best friend, my love and my everything,’ praising him for being the ‘wonderful, tender, vulnerable, heart-on-your-sleeve soul you really are.’ It is incredulous that Plaintiff, a then 42-year-old woman who claims on her resume to have a law degree from Pace University, would have written these words to Defendant months after all the events in the Complaint of alleged abuse, coercion, and ‘sex-trafficking’ took place.”

McMahon’s filing further claimed that Grant visited his Connecticut condo at “all hours” of the night and that Grant lived with her “long-time fiancé” Brian Goncalves. Ann Callis, Grant’s lawyer, told the New York Post that Goncalves had allowed Grant to stay with him after she lost her parents.

Vince McMahon at WrestleMania 20

Vince McMahon at WrestleMania XX. (Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

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In Grant’s initial lawsuit, it was revealed she joined WWE in June 2019, months after the death of her parents. Grant said she was vulnerable at the time when the relationship with McMahon began.

“Those statements are complete falsehoods,” McMahon’s filing claimed. “Based on a foreclosure action against Plaintiff and her parents, Plaintiff’s father passed away on April 18, 2017—two years before Plaintiff met Defendant – and his marital status was recorded as ‘widowed’ “confirming Plaintiff’s mother had passed earlier.

“Court records further show that contrary to her claim of ‘around-the-clock caregiving,’ Plaintiff’s father lived in a senior care home in Stamford, Connecticut before he passed away— not with her—and the Grants’ neighbor would bring Plaintiff’s mother dinner and ‘help around the house’ before she passed.”

Callis responded to McMahon’s filing in a statement to Post Wrestling.

“Vince McMahon has never known a storyline that he doesn’t twist to fit his own shameful narrative,” Callis said. “Her father was in in-home hospice during his final days where Janel continued to care for him around the clock. Prior to his death, she had been caring for her blind, wheelchair-bound mother. Using the grief of someone who lost both of her parents is an all new level of disgusting.

Vince McMahon in Dallas

Then-WWE owner Vince McMahon during WrestleMania at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on April 3, 2022. (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

“She was not dating at the time. Her ex-boyfriend allowed her to stay in the apartment as she rebuilt her life and resume post-taking care of her parents. She had no job and no other financial support to lean back on.”

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A lawyer for Laurinaitis, who was named in Grant’s initial lawsuit, also denied the allegations against the former wrestler to the New York Post.

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