Rita Chatterton, the WWE’s first female umpire, accused Vince McMahon of raping her in 1992.
Leonard Inzitari, a former professional wrestler, claimed in a New York Magazine article published Monday that Chatterton’s allegations are true.
McMahon recently resigned from his position as CEO amid an investigation into individual misconduct claims.
A former wrestler claims the claims of the WWE’s first female umpire, who accused the organization’s former CEO, Vince McMahon, of raping her in 1986, are true.
Leonard Inzitari, the ex-wrestler whose in-ring name was Mario Mancini, claimed Rita Chatterton’s allegations were true. He made the claim against journalist Abe Riesman in a… story published by New York Magazine on Monday. Riesman is writing a book about McMahon, called “Ringmaster,” which will be published in March 2023.
It is the first time a wrestler has substantiated Chatterton’s accusation.
Chatterton first went public with the accusation in 1992, claiming that McMahon raped her in his limousine in 1986. But Chatterton refused to press charges and the statute of limitations for rape had then expired, according to Riesman’s story.
Inzitari claimed in the New York Magazine story that Chatterton confided in him in 1986 what had allegedly happened. Before a WWF show (WWE was known as the World Wrestling Federation at the time), Chatterton “burst into tears” for Inzitari, he claimed.
Inzitari claimed Chatterton told him that McMahon “took his penis out” and “forced my head there.” McMahon then “pulled me over him,” forced her jeans off, and was then “in her,” Inzitari said Chatterton told him.
WWE did not respond to a request for comment from Insider on behalf of the company or McMahon. McMahon’s attorney Jerry McDevitt did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider on behalf of McMahon. Inzitari declined to comment further to Insider.
“He was willing to take the case, but he knew it was going to be an uphill battle,” Chatterton told Riesman, referring to a lawyer she contacted after the alleged meeting with McMahon. “Basically it was my word against McMahon’s because I took a shower and didn’t go to the hospital… I was scared. He was powerful. He would talk about me.”
Chatterton had made her claim public on ‘The Geraldo Rivera Show’. The WWF did not comment on the allegation at the time, but McMahon called the allegation false in a lawsuit after the interview, Riesman said.
McMahon and his wife, Linda, sued Chatterton, Rivera and members of Rivera’s production team after the interview, alleging that the defendants were part of a conspiracy to inflict “serious emotional distress” on the McMahons by “concocting a false rape allegation.” .” The lawsuit was eventually dropped, Riesman said.
Meanwhile, McMahon recently volunteered stepped out of his role as WWE’s chief executive and chairman amid a special committee of the board’s investigation into separate misconduct allegations made against him and the company’s head of talent relations.
“I have pledged my full cooperation to the Special Committee’s investigation and I will do everything possible to support the investigation,” McMahon said in a WWE statement. “I also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they may be.”
McMahon will continue to oversee the company’s creative content. His daughter, and WWE’s brand chief, Stephanie McMahon, stepped in as interim CEO and chairman.
The Wall Street Journal earlier this month first reported that WWE Board Investigated Payments McMahon has done so to former female employees, some of whom had accused McMahon and the head of talent relations of misconduct. The payments prevented them from speaking out about the agreements, The Journal reported, citing people familiar with the investigation.
The investigation began in April after the board received a tip about a $3 million payment to a former female paralegal with whom McMahon was allegedly having an affair, The Journal reported.
A WWE spokesperson told The Journal that McMahon’s relationship with the former paralegal was consensual. McDevitt, his attorney, told the Journal that the paralegal had not claimed any harassment against McMahon and that “WWE did not pay any money” to her.
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