In a longform New York Magazine article written by the author of the upcoming Vince McMahon unauthorized biography, a former WWE wrestler corroborated female referee Rita Chatterton's sexual assault accusations against McMahon.
Chatterton, WWE's first-ever female referee, also spoke to writer Abraham Riesman, but didn't want to go into details about what allegedly happened in a limo that July 1986 night. This was her first interview since 1992.
In that 1992 appearance on Geraldo Rivera's daytime talk show, she accused McMahon of raping her in a limo in 1986 but because the statute of limitations had run out, no charges could be brought against him.
Mario Mancini (Leonard Inzitari) became the first wrestler to speak on the record and corroborate the story, choosing to speak to Riesman now because of McMahon's current-day issues that has a special committee of the WWE Board of Directors investigating him on allegations of misconduct.
Mancini and Chatterton have known each other since the early 1980s as they trained together at a wrestling school. He claimed that Chatterton took him aside before a 1986 WWF house show and burst into tears, describing what happened inside the limo which included McMahon forcing her to perform oral sex before pulling her on top of him for sex.
From the article:
"Inzitari doesn’t use the word rape while talking about what happened. But he describes something that sounds like the conventional definition of that term.
“Was she taken advantage of? Absolutely,” Inzitari says. “Was she scared to death? Absolutely. Did she wanna do that? Probably not.”
Chatterton said that she had wanted to talk to McMahon about her future and gaining full-time employment. After McMahon said he didn't want to discuss it at a large dinner she and others were at, he suggested they go to a diner and talk privately. While outside getting into her car, she saw him in his limo and he suggested they talk there as he was tired. The limo driver was not present at the time.
Reisman wrote, "She declines to describe to me the specifics of what happened next" and then detailed what she had said before in two separate appearances with Rivera.
McMahon allegedly said in order for Chatterton to get a $500,000/year deal he had mentioned to her before, she would have to "satisfy him." That is when he allegedly forced her to perform the aforementioned acts or else be blackballed from the industry.
She didn't tell her story initially due to a fear that her elderly parents would suffer health issues due to the stress. After they passed is when Chatterton decided to go public.
The then-WWF declined to comment on the allegations at the time as they were dealing with several other of their well-documented scandals. However, he and wife, Linda, sued Chatterton, Rivera and several production people, and former wrestler David Shults, claiming they were all part of a conspiracy against the McMahons. The suit was eventually dropped.
Chatterton is also speaking out now due to the latest controversial McMahon headlines.
“He’s not gonna pay for what he did to me,” she says. But she’s glad the hush-money allegations are coming to light. “Now this girl’s come forward,” Chatterton says of the paralegal whose friend sent the initial emails to the WWE board, “and I’m sure others will come forward. Because we’re not the only two. There’s not a doubt in my mind about that.”
Chatterton pauses and thinks for a second. She chuckles a little.
“As far as wrestling goes, I guess I’m the first in a lot of things,” she says. “As far as I know, I’m the first to come out with the whole issue of what a scumbag he is.”
Inzitari, too, sees storm clouds ahead for his onetime employer.
“I’ll tell you why I’m hopping on the bandwagon now,” the former grappler tells me. “There’s worse stuff than that.”
While he has temporarily stepped down as WWE CEO & Chairman as the investigation is carried out, McMahon remains active as the head of creative and recently appeared on WWE Raw and SmackDown.