Suit against Vince McMahon paused at Justice Dept.'s request

The woman accusing Vince McMahon of sexual misconduct agreed to pause her lawsuit against the former WWE CEO after a request from the Justice Department, her attorney told ABC News on Thursday.

Janel Grant, a former WWE employee, alleged in a 67-page suit filed in January that McMahon forced her into a sexual relationship in order for her to keep her job and passed around pornographic content of her to other men at the company.

"Ms. Grant has consented to a request by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York to stay her case against Mr. McMahon, WWE and Mr. [John] Laurinaitis, pursuant to a pending non-public investigation," Ann Callis, Grant's attorney, said in a statement to ABC News. "We will cooperate with all appropriate next steps."

Grant also accused McMahon of inflicting "psychological torture and physical violence" while making "depraved sexual demands." McMahon is accused of trafficking Grant to other WWE employees. The lawsuit, which also named former WWE executive John Laurinaitis, included graphic descriptions of alleged sexual encounters along with explicit text messages.

McMahon, 78, stepped down as CEO in 2022, and in January, he resigned from his role as TKO executive chairman and from his position on the publicly traded company's board of directors. (TKO was formed last year when WWE and UFC merged.)

Grant signed a nondisclosure agreement in 2022 in connection with an agreement from McMahon to pay her $3 million. WWE started a board investigation that same year after it received an anonymous tip about the improper relationship.

In the lawsuit, Grant said McMahon paid $1 million but stopped making payments thereafter. She seeks to void the NDA and receive unspecified financial damages.

McMahon briefly retired from WWE in July 2022 after revelations of multiple payouts to several women connected to sexual misconduct allegations. The internal investigation conducted by an outside law firm found $14.6 million in payments by McMahon.

"I stand by my prior statement that Ms. Grant's lawsuit is replete with lies, obscene made-up instances that never occurred, and is a vindictive distortion of the truth. I intend to vigorously defend myself against these baseless accusations, and look forward to clearing my name," McMahon said in a statement in January regarding his resignation.