High-profile public relations firm representing Vince McMahon

Photo Courtesy: Sitrick And Company

By: John Pollock & Brandon Thurston

Earlier this week, Vince McMahon’s legal team fired back with a strongly worded statement in the ex-WWE chairman’s defense where he denied any wrongdoing involving Janel Grant.

The 29-page court filing represented the most substantial rebuttal by McMahon and comes as the 78-year-old has enlisted the services of the public relations firm, Sitrick and Company.

The powerful firm is led by Michael S. Sitrick, who has been referred to as “one of the most accomplished practitioners of the dark arts of public relations” by Fortune magazine, and “a public relations puppet master who has pulled the strings behind some of the biggest stories in media” in an excerpt from the L.A. Times.

Grant’s team is being represented by The Agency Group (TAG) PR.

Sitrick confirmed to POST Wrestling and Wrestlenomics that his firm is representing McMahon stating, “It is a relatively new relationship.” 

The connection with McMahon came through an existing relationship Sitrick had with lawyers Marc Kasowitz and Jessica T. Rosenberg from Kasowitz Benson Torres, the legal team representing McMahon. Sitrick made clear to us that his team performed their own due diligence on the case before accepting McMahon as a client.

He noted he’s working directly with McMahon.

“We help build and restore reputations and we help get the truth out”, Sitrick said of his firm’s objectives beyond serving as crisis management.

Sitrick emphasized that his firm is known for its work in crisis management. It has represented a wide range of clients including Roy Disney, Don King, Kobe Bryant, Pepsi, McDonalds, Starbucks, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Daniel Pearl Foundation.

In 2021, Business Insider named Sitrick among the 23 most powerful fixers in PR.

Sitrick noted to our outlets that their firm terminated a relationship with Harvey Weinstein after several months and worked with R. Kelly for a short time before he moved to another firm.

In the past, Sitrick and Company has handled cases involving Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea) and Steve Austin (Steve Williams), although the specifics of the work performed for the wrestling stars he couldn’t recall when speaking with us on the phone Thursday.

While Sitrick doesn’t disclose the cost of his services, a 2019 feature in the Columbia Journal Review reported that his firm’s fee was $1,100 per hour. Sitrick said he’s also taken on several cases on a “Pro Bono” basis. It is unknown what the financial arrangement is regarding McMahon.

McMahon’s statement contained in Tuesday’s legal filing opposed the allegations laid out in Grant’s lawsuit against McMahon, John Laurinaitis, and WWE, in which she states she was a victim of physical and emotional abuse, sexual assault, and sexual trafficking.

From McMahon’s legal motion filed Tuesday:

Defendant vehemently and categorically denies all allegations of wrongdoing in the Complaint, including Plaintiff’s outrageous claims that Defendant coerced Plaintiff into unwanted sexual acts, sexually assaulted and/or battered her, trafficked her, and defecated on her. Those are false statements intended for publicity. When the Complaint’s allegations are adjudicated in the proper forum (arbitration), witnesses are called to testify under oath, and all communications between the Parties (including those authored by Plaintiff which she intentionally did not share in her Complaint) are produced, the allegations and claims will be disproven and Plaintiff will be exposed for the liar she is.

Grant’s team has since filed a motion to strike the statement on Wednesday:

McMahon’s easily refuted lies have no place in this case. It was not necessary, reasonable, or responsible to use a public filing to impugn Janel’s moral character. Indeed, McMahon’s desperate attempt to distract from the legal substance of the Motion highlight its weakness and the weakness of his overall case.

Following the motion to strike from Grant’s side, McMahon’s lawyer, Rosenberg, issued the following comment to POST Wrestling and Wrestlenomics:

Plaintiff had no right to bring this case in a public court but did so anyway. Now that she chose this public forum to falsely accuse Mr. McMahon, she wants to silence his ability to respond. She can’t have it both ways.

According to court records, Laurinaitis has until May 14 to respond to the case while WWE has a deadline of June 1.

McMahon resigned from all roles at TKO and WWE in January, the day after Grant’s lawsuit was filed.

Before and after his resignation, McMahon has sold more than $1 billion worth of TKO shares, liquidating much of his ownership in the WWE parent company. Following his latest transactions, McMahon holds just under 5% of all TKO stock.

About John Pollock 5610 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.