Co-Defendant in Vince McMahon Sex Trafficking Lawsuit Says He Was a Victim Too

“The truth will come out,” John Laurinaitis' attorney told VICE News.
Vince McMahon
Vince McMahon. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

A lawyer for John Laurinaitis, a co-defendant in an explosive civil sex-trafficking lawsuit brought last week against WWE founder Vince McMahon and WWE itself, appeared to corroborate central claims in the suit in a statement to VICE News today, while disputing Laurinaitis’ role as described in the complaint. Edward Brennan, the lawyer, said that his client is himself a victim —just like plaintiff Janel Grant, a former WWE employee.  


“The truth will come out,” Brennan said. 

In the suit, brought last week in federal court in Connecticut, Grant says that McMahon and Laurinaitis sexually assaulted her in WWE’s corporate offices, and that McMahon also trafficked her to Laurinaitis, the company’s former head of talent relations. McMahon, according to the suit, went so far as to schedule appointments for her to sexually service Laurinaitis.

Earlier today, VICE News reached out to Brennan, an attorney in the Tampa area, to confirm that he represents Laurinaitis. He did so, adding, as an aside, “Mr. Laurinaitis denies the allegations in the misguided complaint and will be vigorously defending these charges in Court, not the media. Like the Plaintiff, Mr. Laurinaitis is a victim in this case, not a predator. The truth will come out.”

In response to a followup question seeking to clarify that he was indeed saying that McMahon was the predator and that Laurinaitis, like Grant, was a victim, Brennan wrote, “Read the allegations. Read the Federal Statute. Power, control, employment supervisory capacity, dictatorial sexual demands with repercussions if not met. Count how many times in the complaint Vince exerts control over both of them.”

The complaint, which can be read in full here, details allegations that McMahon instructed Grant to create “explicit content” for Laurinaitis and arranged a threesome between them, after which Laurinaitis declined to answer when Grant asked if this was the first time this had happened. Later, the suit says, she was transferred to the talent relations department, which Laurinaitis headed—a transfer that came, the suit says, “with the expectation, from both McMahon and Laurinaitis, that she engage with Laurinaitis sexually, both physically and with explicit content.”


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“In June 2021,” the suit says, “McMahon and Defendant Laurinaitis sexually assaulted Ms. Grant inside Laurinaitis’ office in WWE headquarters while colleagues were busy at their desks. Behind a locked door, the two men cornered her and pulled her in between them, forcibly touched her, before ultimately putting her on top of a table in between them. She begged them to stop, but they forced themselves on her, each taking turns restraining her for the other, while saying ‘No means yes’ and ‘Take it, bitch.’”

“Ms. Grant’s lawsuit is replete with lies, obscene made-up instances that never occurred, and is a vindictive distortion of the truth,” McMahon said last week when announcing his resignation as chair of TKO, WWE’s parent company. A lawyer said to be representing him did not immediately respond to an email.

TKO did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Brennan’s statement. A spokesperson for Grant’s lawyer, Ann Callis, declined to comment.