A wrestler is corroborating an old allegation that WWE CEO Vince McMahon raped a female referee in his limo in 1986, amid new allegations that he also paid women hush money to keep misconduct claims secret.
McMahon is the embattled titan of the wrestling industry; he has been in charge of WWE for decades, inheriting the company from his father and making it into the multi-billion dollar machine that it is today.
Earlier this month, he stepped down from his role as CEO after being accused of paying female employees hush money. One allegation is that he gave a paralegal $3million after their affair ended.
In the wake of the allegations, an older, more serious claim has resurfaced.
In 1992, Rita Chatterton, now 64, the first female referee in the WWE, came forward to accuse McMahon of raping her in his limo in 1986.
Now, her allegation has been corroborated by former wrestler Leonard Inzitari, who says he saw Chatterton after the alleged attack.
An attorney for McMahon did not respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com on Wednesday.
WWE wrestling is investigating Vince McMahon over claims he paid women hush money after they accused him of misconduct, including a 41-year-old paralegal who says he gave her $3million after they had an affair
Vince McMahon with Rita Chatterton, the first female WWE referee, the year before she claims he raped her, on his TV show
In 1992, Rita Chatterton, now 64, the first female referee in the WWE, came forward to accuse McMahon of raping her in his limo in 1986. She appeared on Gerald Rivera’s TV show
‘I remember it like it was yesterday. She was a wreck. She was shaking. She was crying,’ Inzitari, who went by the wrestling alias Mario Mancini, told Intelligencer.
He said he had kept it a secret for decades in fear of being marginalized by McMahon and his family, who control the industry.
‘He’s dug himself such a deep hole that I’m just tired of it. I can’t do it anymore,’ he said of his decision to speak out now.
Inzitari said Chatterton told him through sobs how McMahon ‘took his penis out’, forced her to perform oral sex on him, then forced himself ‘inside’ of her.
He recalled telling her: ‘You just keep your mouth shut, because it’s Vince McMahon. What are you gonna do, stooge on Vince McMahon? You’re gonna be blackballed from the wrestling business!’
Chatterton did not make her claim public for several years.
It wasn’t until she appeared on Geraldo Rivera’s TV show in 1992 that she made the allegation. He has not yet addressed it.
McMahon gave her first major refereeing job in 1975, then, she claims, offered her a contract of $500,000 a year to referee on-screen.
‘At the time, I knew that’s a huge amount of money, but I didn’t know what the wrestlers were making,’ she said.
She told Intelligencer that McMahon told her not to fraternize with any of the wrestlers, warning her: ‘Keep it clean. I don’t wanna see you messing around with any of the wrestlers. You keep it professional.’
McMahon is married to Trump aide Linda McMahon, who served as the head of the Small Business Administration during Trump’s presidency
Rita Marie Chatterton, First Fulltime Female Referee in the WWE, is shown in the ring
Chatterton made waves as the first female referee in the 1980s but her career tapered off after the alleged rape
In her 1992 interview, she told Rivera how she had asked McMahon if they could discuss her career prospects on the night that she says he raped her.
They had been at a diner with a larger group, then got into his limo to talk privately outside. She said the limo driver left the vehicle.
‘He starts talking about a half-a-million-dollar-a-year contract. Next thing I know, Vince McMahon is unzipping his pants.’
‘Vince continued to, you know, “If you want a half-a-million-dollar contract, you’re going to have to satisfy me, and this is the way things have to go”.
‘Vince grabbed my hand, kept trying to put my hand on him. I was scared. At the end, my wrist was all purple, black, and blue. Things just didn’t… He just… God, he just didn’t stop. This man just didn’t stop,’ she said through tears.
‘I was forced into oral sex with Vince McMahon. When I couldn’t complete his desires, he got really angry, started ripping off my jeans, pulled me on top of him, and told me again that, if I wanted a half-a-million-dollar-a-year contract, that I had to satisfy him.
Now, Chatterton’s allegation has been corroborated by former wrestler Leonard Inzitari, who says he saw Chatterton after the alleged attack. At the time, he went by the wrestler alias Mario Mancini
‘He could make me or break me, and if I didn’t satisfy him, I was black-balled, that was it, I was done.’
She claimed that afterwards, he told her: ‘I told you not to mess with any of the wrestlers. You just did.’
After that, Chatterton said McMahon stopped booking her for jobs. At the time, McMahon denied her claims.
He sued her and Rivera, alleging that they were trying to bring him down and were spurred on by his enemies. The lawsuit was discontinued without either side winning.
His long-serving attorney, Jerry McDevitt, did not respond to inquiries on Wednesday afternoon.
McMahon’s wife Linda with President Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago in 2019. She now works at America First Institute
He has not yet addressed the allegations that McMahon paid former employees hush money, either.
The board a WWE – which is largely made up of McMahon’s family – is now investigating the allegations.
His wife Linda, who was the head of the Small Business Administration during Trump’s presidency, has also not commented. McMahon has served as CEO of the multi-billion dollar company since 2009 and is said to be worth $2billion.
According to the allegations, McMahon first hired the paralegal on a salary of $100,000 then doubled it to $200,000 when they started having sex.
She alleges that he then ‘passed her like a toy’ to John Laurinaitis, the head of talent at WWE.