Ousted WWE boss Vince McMahon paid $5 million to the now-defunct Trump Foundation over the same years that the President appeared in WWE storylines.
McMahon came under scrutiny last month after officials found he paid $19.6 million in unrecorded company expenses.
The bulk of that money was found to have been paid to women who accused him and another WWE executive of sexual misconduct, but the Wall Street Journal is now reporting that two payments totaling $5 million were also made to the Donald Trump Foundation left.
Those payments were made in the same two years that the ex-president appeared at WWE televised events, according to a securities filing recently viewed by the Journal.
A WWE attorney now says the payments should have been labeled as business expenses because McMahon was the majority shareholder and the payments benefited the company, though he wouldn’t say how.
McMahon, 76, has since been ousted from the company he ran and built for more than four decades to become wrestling’s biggest company amid a Securities and Exchange Commission and federal investigation into his undisclosed payments.
He has not yet commented on the allegations against him.
Trump, meanwhile, was forced to liquidate his Trump Foundation, originally set up to distribute funds to charities, after the New York Attorney General found he was misusing their money to benefit his presidential campaign.
Ousted WWE CEO Vince McMahon, right, paid $5 million in undisclosed payments to the Trump Foundation, according to a securities filing
These payments coincided with Trump’s appearances at WWE televised events. The two are pictured here at a press conference in 2009
According to the Wall Street Journal, the now-defunct Trump Foundation received a total of $4 million from WWE in 2007 and an additional $1 million in 2009, coinciding with the ex-president’s appearances at WWE events.
In 2007, Trump interrupted McMahon’s speech at Raw’s Fan Appreciation Night and accused the CEO of being selfish.
The feud eventually played out weeks later at the WrestleMania23 pay-per-view event, where he and McMahon fought a proxy match titled the Battle of the Billionaires, each represented by a professional wrestler.
The winner got to shave the loser’s head.
However, according to a person familiar with the contract negotiations at the time, Trump instructed McMahon to pay his charity a $4 million entry fee for the event.
Trump then had his staff review the contract to ensure that McMahon could not, under any circumstances, shave his head, even if Trump’s wrestler dropped dead in the ring.
Then, after the former president’s wrestler won the event, Trump was allowed to shave McMahon’s head live on TV.
In 2007, Trump shaved McMahon’s head on live television after his wrestler punched McMahon’s
According to a person familiar with the contract negotiations, Trump’s people made sure there was no way he would have his head shaved, even if he lost. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin is pictured here holding McMahon as Trump prepares to shave his head
The proxy fight was dubbed the Battle of the Billionaires during WrestleMania23
He later boasted that his performance was such a hit — with 1.2 million home viewers and $5.38 million in ticket sales — that McMahon agreed to give him an additional $1 million.
However, a WWE attorney denied that the $1 million was a bonus for his performance.
‘Mister. Trump and WWE struck a deal in which WWE agreed and personally paid him a $1 million appearance fee,” Jerry McDevitt told the Journal.
“At the same time, the McMahons made a personal contribution of $4 million to the Trump Foundation. Due to the success of the event, Mr. Trump was not paid any additional fee or additional contributions to the Trump Foundation.”
But about two years later, the Trump Foundation received an additional $1 million, while the ex-president appeared on WWE Raw in a story about how he took over the company before selling it back to McMahon for double the price.
Trump received a fee of $100,000 for his performance, the Journal reports, while McMahon and his wife, Linda McMahon – a former Trump administration official – “concurrently” made a $1 million donation to the Trump earlier this year Foundation made.
The former president was later inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame for his performances in 2013 and previously sponsored a match in Atlantic City. He was also a regular in the crowd before his appearances on the shows.
Now, WWE executives are saying that although the $5 million was listed as coming from WWE on the Trump Foundation’s tax returns, the money actually came from McMahon himself.
However, they said the payments should have been accounted for as an operating expense since McMahon was a major shareholder and the payments benefited the company.
Trump has been known to pass on his appearance fees to his organization, with tax returns showing that Comedy Central gave the Trump Foundation $400,000 in 2011 — the same year Trump was roasted on the network by Seth MacFarlane.
In 2009, Trump returned to WWE in a storyline in which he bought the company from McMahon, only to sell it back to him for double the price
Both billionaires are now under fire, with McMahon losing the company he’s built over the past four decades and Trump having to dismantle his organization as part of a fraud investigation.
McMahon publicly announced his resignation as CEO on July 22 after both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York opened their own investigations into the nearly $20 million in undisclosed payments .
Subsequently, WWE said in a securities filing that its own internal investigation into McMahon’s payments found that he paid $14.6 million in settlements he made with women who had accused him of sexual assault.
It turned out he paid about $7.5 million in hush money to a former wrestler who claimed he forced oral sex on her and fired her after she refused further sexual encounters.
It was also discovered that McMahon had paid a WWE contractor around $1 million after she came to the company with unsolicited nude pictures of McMahon, which she said he sent to her.
And a company spokesman told the Journal that a sexual relationship between a former WWE attorney resulted in a $3 million settlement earlier this year.
A friend of the paralegals said the former CEO passed her “like a toy” to John Laurinaitis, then WWE’s head of talent, after doubling the woman’s salary from $100,000 to $200,000.
The company spokesman insists the relationship was amicable.
McMahon’s wife, Linda (right), served in the Trump administration. She is pictured with Trump at Mar-a-Lago in 2019
But the investigation brought up a decades-old claim that McMahon raped Rita Chatterton, WWE’s first female referee, in his limousine in 1986.
Her claim was recently corroborated by former wrestler Leonard Inzitari, who says he saw Chatterton after the alleged attack.
He said he kept it a secret for decades for fear of being marginalized by McMahon and his family, who control the wrestling industry.
Inzitari, who went by the wrestling alias Mario Mancini, told Intelligencer: “I remember it like it was yesterday. She was a wreck. she was shaking. She cried.’
Inzitari said Chatterton sobbing told him how McMahon “took out his penis,” forced her to perform oral sex on him, then forced himself “inside her.”
He sued her and Rivera, claiming they were trying to bring him down and were spurred on by his enemies. The lawsuit was dropped with neither side winning.
McMahon has not yet commented on the allegations against him, but said: “I have pledged my full cooperation with the Special Committee’s inquiry and I will do everything I can to assist in the inquiry.”
“I have also pledged to accept the findings and findings of the investigation, whatever they may be.”
McMahon left the company with $3.4 billion.
He is now replaced in his company by his daughter Stephanie, who herself had a career as a wrestler and is married to promotion star Triple H.
McMahon has now been replaced at the company he ran for four decades by his daughter Stephanie, right
The former president, meanwhile, was forced to disband the organization in a settlement with New York State Attorneys, who alleged in a 2018 lawsuit that he misused the charity funds to advance his 2016 presidential campaign, paying severance pay and promoting his real estate company .
Trump eventually admitted to misusing the charitable funds and was ordered by a New York judge to pay $2 million to charities as part of a 2019 settlement.
“I’m the only person in history who can give a lot of money to charity ($19 million), charge no fees and get attacked by the political hackers of New York State,” he tweeted after the settlement. ‘No wonder we’re all leaving!’
Trump’s longtime accounting firm later told his firm that a decade’s worth of financial statements “should no longer be relied on” – and claims that it now has a “conflict of interest” with the firm.
A letter said that while there were no “overall material discrepancies” in the documents, it was their “advice” not to “rely on” them any longer.