Tim Marchman reflects on covering Vince McMahon’s lawsuit

Photo Courtesy: WWE
Since the massive sex trafficking lawsuit was filed against Vince McMahon by former WWE staffer Janel Grant last month, many have questioned whether there are more allegations from other victims that have yet to come out. However, it’s not always easy for these stories to see the light of day.
 
A big factor that stops both victims and witnesses to crimes is fear of retaliation, either from an employer or the public. Vice reporter Tim Marchman explained this dynamite when on Pollock & Thurston this week.

“I think if you’re someone on the inside who has knowledge of this, it’s a very very difficult decision to come forward knowing you’re gonna have people mad about it and mad at you,” Marshman said.

Marchman has covered sex trafficking extensively for Vice and has been writing about McMahon since the major lawsuit was filed against him last month. While covering topics like sex trafficking isn’t easy, Marchman has described his knowledge of wrestling as a plus for his coverage of McMahon.

“I’ve definitely found the fact that I have some familiarity with wrestling is helpful,” Marchman said during a recent episode of Pollock & Thurston. “I don’t think I’m an expert because I read the Wrestling Observer or anything like that, but I think there’s a baseline of if they’re trying to explain something complicated you can make clear that ‘Oh, I understand what you’re talking about there.’”

Marchman has covered many different angles around McMahon since last month. He has interviewed legal experts to figure out if the nondisclosure agreement that Grant signed is valid. He spoke to the attorney of McMahon co-defendant John Laurinaitis, who claimed that his client was also “a victim in this case.” He has also revisited and uncovered statements from Ashley Massaro, a wrestler who claimed she was raped by a U.S. Army doctor while on a business trip for the promotion, and that WWE attempted to cover up the alleged incident. Along with more details on Massaro’s alleged rape, Marchman published a previously unreleased statement from Massaro that alleges how McMahon sexually preyed upon” talent.

Massaro’s stories, while related to McMahon, provide something different to investigate as well, Marchman explained.

“That opens to me this other whole box that is kind of adjacent to but distinct from the Grant lawsuit, which is, is this true that Vince McMahon was sexually preying on wrestlers or people who worked for WWE, and if so, what kind of potential liability does that open?” he asked. “How much has that been investigated internally?”

The recently filed lawsuit against McMahon also has WWE as a co-defendant. Despite this, the promotion’s parent company, TKO Group Holdings, has worked hard to separate themselves from the case. In a statement provided to Variety, a spokesperson said “Mr. McMahon does not control TKO nor does he oversee the day-to-day operations of WWE.”

“They have projected a clear belief that this is in the past,” said Marchman. “These are things that happened before TKO took over and that Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis are gone. There are things they don’t know about because the people currently in charge weren’t there, and there are things they can’t really say much about because the people who were accused of them weren’t there.”

However, Marchman wants people to remember that WWE is a defendant in this case. Separating the company from allegations against McMahon and Laurinaitis might not be so easy.

“At face value, taking everything in the lawsuit, at the very least several top executives would have known that Vince McMahon had an unqualified person, who was his girlfriend, who he brought in and gave a fake job to,” he said. “And for that kind of behavior to just be open and tolerated … It obviously suggests unflattering things about how WWE is run.”

Marchman believes there’s a much bigger story to consider when reading about McMahon. When considering his ties to big influential names in business and politics — including former U.S. President Donald Trump — Marchman feels that there’s something to learn.

“This is how friends, business associates, business partners of some of the most powerful people in the country are treating the people who work for them.”

Pollock & Thurston airs live every Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET on the POST Wrestling and Wrestlenomics feeds 

About Jack Wannan 176 Articles
Jack Wannan is a journalist from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He writes and reports on professional wrestling, along with other topics like MMA, boxing, music, local news, and more. He graduated from Toronto Metropolitan University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He can be reached at [email protected]