Vince McMahon, World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) longtime leader, allegedly paid out millions in hush money to Rita Chatterton, a former female wrestler with whom he had a coercive sexual relationship and who was allegedly not brought back to WWE after spurning further sexual advances from the executive, according to a report published Friday in the Wall Street Journal.
McMahon allegedly paid out $7.5 million to Rita Chatterton, the former wrestler, who claimed that McMahon coerced her into giving him oral sex, demoted her and then decided not to renew her contract in 2005 after she resisted further sexual encounters with him, per the Journal report.
The wrestler and her lawyer reportedly negotiated a non-disclosure agreement with McMahon in 2018.
The Journal report details a total of $12 million allegedly paid out to four women over the last 16 years to quiet allegations of the 76-year-old McMahon’s sexual misconduct.
On April 3, 1992, Chatterton noted for her stint as Rita Marie in the WWF in the 1980s and for being the first female referee in the WWF (possibly in professional wrestling history), made an appearance on Geraldo Rivera’s show Now It Can Be Told.
She claimed that on July 16, 1986, Vince McMahon tried to force her to perform oral sex on him in his limousine and, when she refused, raped her.
Rita Chatterton: An account of how Vince McMahon tried to force WWE’s first female referee to have oral sex
Rita Chatterton’s accusations have been brought to light by a major publication.
In an article for New York Magazine, Abe Riesman, who has spent the last several years working on her upcoming biography of Vince McMahon, lays out Chatterton’s claims once more, but this time, the claims are corroborated by another source: Chatterton’s longtime friend, Leonard Inzitari, who wrestled under the name Mario Mancini.
From Riesman’s report:
According to Inzitari, in that summer of 1986, he found Chatterton standing alone near the wrestling ring a few hours before a WWF show. “She looks at me and bursts out in tears,” Inzitari recalls. “And she grabbed me, and I go, ‘Rita, what happened?’”
Chatterton began to reply: “I was in Vince’s limo …”
Before she could continue, Inzitari let out an involuntary, “Oh, no.”
“Lenny, he took his penis out,” he said Chatterton told him between sobs. “He kinda forced my head down there, and I made it known I wasn’t interested in doing that.”
Inzitari was not surprised. He had “heard a lot of different stories” about McMahon’s sexual proclivities. “He was strange, brother.” (McMahon did not respond to a request for comment made through WWE and his personal lawyer, Jerry McDevitt.)
Inzitari asked Chatterton what happened next.
“Then, [Vince] pulled me on top of him,” she told her friend. According to her, she was wearing jeans that McMahon forcibly took off. Soon, as Inzitari puts it, “He was inside her.”