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Vince McMahon agrees to multi-million dollar settlement with rape accuser Rita Chatterton

McMahon claimed the settlement was made to avoid legal costs.

WWE Executive Chairman Vince McMahon and former referee Rita Chatterton agreed to a multi-million dollar legal settlement in December, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Chatterton won't get the $11.75 million in damages she initially was looking for, but the exact amount she agreed upon is unknown. The deal calls for an upfront lump sum and annual installments, similar to other such agreements he has made throughout the years with other women that the WSJ first reported on in June 2022.

The first female referee in WWE history made a legal demand of McMahon in November 2022 for damages stemming from him allegedly raping her in 1986.

In a statement to the WSJ, McMahon's long-time attorney Jerry McDevitt said, “Mr. McMahon denies and always has denied raping Ms. Chatterton. And he settled the case solely to avoid the cost of litigation."

Despite the incident being so long ago, the WSJ notes her legal demand became possible due to a one-year window in New York State that allows victims of sex crimes to file lawsuits that would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations." Her legal letter to McMahon's legal team came weeks before that window opened.

McMahon had sued Chatterton in 1993 and claimed she was induced by a disgruntled wrestler to make a false rape accusation against him. He later dropped the case, claiming he needed to do so in order to focus on his 1994 steroid trial.

It's the latest such settlement for McMahon who resigned in the midst of the scandal uncovered by the WSJ reports last summer of sexual misconduct and nearly $20 million in unreported expenses. Those expenses included "hush money" payouts of $7.5 million to a former wrestler in 2018, who claimed McMahon forced her into performing oral sex, and a 2022 agreement with a former employee he allegedly had an affair with that totaled $3 million.

After resigning in July 2022, McMahon used his standing as the company's largest shareholder to return to the Board and eventually be named Executive Chairman, ousting three Board members and bringing two along with him in the process.

In the same time period, his daughter, Stephanie McMahon, resigned as company co-CEO and from the Board where she served as Chairwoman after her father left. 

The company is pursuing a sale they hope to have completed by the middle of the year.