World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Vince McMahon is stepping aside while an investigation is conducted into an alleged hush-money payment to cover up sexual misconduct, the WWE and its board of directors announced Friday.
He’ll still maintain control of the WWE’s creative output during the investigation, and we now know he will appear on Friday night’s episode of SmackDown.
“I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation. I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are,” McMahon said in the company’s statement.
McMahon will address the controversy on “Smackdown” Friday night – in character.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the board was investigating a $3 million payout made to a woman to cover up an alleged consensual affair between a WWE paralegal and McMahon, who has faced accusations of sexual misconduct in the past.
“Hours after the announcement, the WWE tweeted that McMahon would appear live on the company’s “Smackdown” show Friday night on Fox. He will address the controversy, but do so in character as his traditionally ruthless “Mr. McMahon” role, according to a person familiar with the matter who declined to be named.
WWE writers were working Friday to change the script for “Smackdown,” which had been completed earlier this week, the person added.”
Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon, Vince McMahon’s daughter and a WWE executive since 2006, will take over as CEO and chair of the board of directors in his absence.
SmackDown will air 8 p.m. ET on FOX.