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Rape Allegations Against Vince McMahon By WWE’s First Female Referee Resurface Amid Scathing Report

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Vince McMahon

Vince McMahon's history of sexual misconduct and assault allegations are coming to light in a scathing new report. 

McMahon initially came under fire after the Wall Street Journal reported that the WWE board was investigating the famous wrestling promoter for allegedly paying $3 million to a former employee in exchange for her silence on an alleged affair between them. He then stepped down as CEO of the WWE two days later amidst the allegations.

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However, in the wake of the report, past allegations against McMahon have also resurfaced.

In 1992, a WWE referee accused McMahon of raping her in 1986.

The deep dive comes from a user named Verity Chance on Medium.com, a platform that describes itself as “a living network of curious minds.” Chance compiled his findings into an essay over 6000 words long.

Trigger warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual assault and abuse that may be upsetting for readers.

Who is Rita Chatterton?

Chatterton, known by her stage name Rita Marie, made history as the first female referee in WWE history in the eighties. She was also the first person to publicly accuse McMahon of sexual misconduct.

On April 3, 1992, Chatterton appeared on the TV show “Now It Can Be Told” with Geraldo Rivera to share her experience with McMahon.

In the interview, Chatterton alleged that she met with McMahon in his limo on July 16, 1986 to discuss her future with the company. She claimed that McMahon made unwanted advances towards her, forced her to perform oral sex on him and forcibly penetrated her.

Chatterton said only worked a few more events before leaving the WWE, then known as the WWF. She said that she decided not to come forward after legal experts advised her that the case would be “her word against his.”

She reaffirmed her allegations in another appearance on “Now It Can Be Told” on April 13, 1992. Footage of this interview has recently resurfaced on YouTube.

Chatterton's allegations against Vince McMahon were corroborated by Mario Mancini.

The pro-wrestler, whose real name is Leonard Inzitari, told New York Magazine that Chatterton told him about the alleged rape shortly after it happened.

"Was she taken advantage of? Absolutely. Was she scared to death? Absolutely," he tells the magazine.

Other sources have also corroborated Chatterton’s allegations since she first made them. Among these sources are the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Joe Stuart, who drove the limo the alleged assaults took place in, and former WWF wrestler David Schultz. 

McMahon and his wife Linda countersued Chatterton, Schultz and Rivera for an alleged conspiracy, but the suit was later dropped. The WWE has sent cease-and-desist letters to outlets writing about the allegations as recently as 2010.

More allegations against Vince McMahon came in 2006.

On January 28, 2006, a 22-year-old woman working at a tanning salon in Boca Raton, Florida told police that McMahon showed her nude photos of himself on his cell phone against her will.

She added that he then cornered her in the tanning room and forcibly kissed and groped her, as well as attempted to remove her shirt before she escaped. She then fled to a Papa John’s next door, where McMahon sat outside in his Hummer for an extended period of time. 

Stephanie McMahon, Vince’s daughter, confirmed to the Palm Beach Post that he was present at the tanning salon on the night of the alleged incident. Police also confirmed his presence through client logs and found that there was probable cause that McMahon touched the victim against her will. 

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However, State Attorney’s Office was unable to press charges against McMahon. Mike Edmondson, an office spokesperson, explained in 2018 that the standard for filing charges is beyond just reasonable doubt.

“A misdemeanor that is not done in the presence of a law enforcement officer in Florida generally is not a prosecutable case unless there is an independent witness and or physical evidence as in photos—that kind of thing,” Edmondson said. 

Recently, allegations of a $3 million NDA emerged.

The Wall Street Journal revealed that McMahon paid a 41-year-old WWE employee $3 million to buy her silence about an extramarital affair. 

The woman began working for the WWE in 2019 as a paralegal with a base salary of $100,000, but was still struggling financially. When her alleged relationship with McMahon began, her pay doubled despite the company laying off many fellow employees at the time. 

She then switched from the legal team to being an assistant to John Laurinaitis, the WWE’s general manager of talent relations.

According to leaked emails from one of the employee’s friends, McMahon “gave her like a toy” to Laurinaitis. The same email added that the employee was “so scared, so she quit after McMahon and lawyer Jerry [McDevitt] paid her millions of dollars to shut up.”

While the employee has not described her relationship with McMahon as non-consensual, the power imbalance between them, as well as the age difference, has led many to characterize the alleged relationship as abusive. 

Anyone affected by sexual assault can find support on the National Sexual Assault Hotline, a safe, confidential service. Contact The Hotline or call 800-656-HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member.

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Jonathan Alfano is a writer who focuses on news and entertainment topics. Follow him on Twitter to keep up with his content.

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