A woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted by Vince McMahon in the back of a limousine nearly 40 years ago wants the former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO to pay nearly $12 million, according to a report.
Rita Chatterton, 65, the first female referee in WWE history, initially broke her silence about the alleged rape in 1992.
McMahon has long denied her allegation.
Chatterton’s attorney, John Clune, wrote a demand letter to McMahon’s lawyer on Nov. 3, according to The Wall Street Journal.
A legal expert who spoke to The Post said that demand letters from attorneys who seek significant amounts of compensation are often a precursor to a lawsuit.
In the letter, Clune demanded $11.75 million in damages from McMahon. He wrote that the effects of McMahon’s alleged actions were “hard to overstate.”
Chatterton “has suffered years of ongoing depression, substance abuse, disordered eating, lost income, and overall a decreased quality of life,” according to the letter.
Chatterton alleged that McMahon demanded sexual favors from her as a precondition to her receiving a $500,000-a-year contract from WWE.
“He promised me half-a-million dollars a year,” she claimed to New York Magazine earlier this year.
Former pro wrestler Leonard Inzitari told the magazine that Chatterton confided in him after the alleged rape in 1986.
“I remember it like it was yesterday,” Inzitari told the outlet. “She was a wreck. She was shaking. She was crying.”
Inzitari, whose stage name was Mario Mancini, said soon after the alleged incident, he found Chatterton standing by herself close to the wrestling ring and when she saw him, she burst into tears and told him she was in McMahon’s limo when he “took his penis out.”
“He kinda forced my head down there, and I made it known I wasn’t interested in doing that,” Inzitari recalled Chatterton telling him, according to New York Magazine.
“Then, [McMahon] pulled me on top of him,” she claimed to Inzitari.
Soon afterward, “he was inside her,” according to Inzitari.
Clune declined comment when reached by The Post.
Meanwhile, the lawyer for another woman, a former spa manager, who alleges she was sexually assaulted by McMahon at a Southern California resort in 2011, has been in regular contact with McMahon’s longtime attorney Jerry McDevitt since July, according to the Journal. The incident has never been previously reported, the Journal said.
The Post reached out to McMahon for comment. He declined to comment when reached by the Journal. The Post also reached out for comment from McDevitt, who didn’t respond to requests from the Journal.
Both New York and California recently passed a law allowing sexual abuse victims a one-year window to file legal claims beyond the statute of limitations beginning in January.
The contents of the demand letter from the spa manager’s attorney has not been revealed.
“Yes, demand letters like the one received by McMahon typically precede lawsuits, especially where the amount demanded is so significant,” Robert Freund, an attorney based in Los Angeles, told The Post.
“Because McMahon has reportedly said he will not entertain a settlement, the likelihood of a lawsuit to follow is high.”
According to the Journal, McMahon has told friends that he refuses to pay settlements to Chatterton and the former spa manager.
In July, McMahon announced that he was retiring as CEO and chairman of WWE after the company launched an investigation into alleged hush money payments he made to several women.
McMahon has reportedly regretted the decision to step down — a move that he says was the result of bad advice from his inner circle.
The mogul now is said to believe that had he stayed on as CEO, the investigations would have run their course and he could have weathered the storm.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report earlier this year that McMahon authorized more than $12 million in payments to several women in exchange for their silence on allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity.
McMahon, who initially stepped aside on a temporary basis after it was learned this past spring that he paid $3 million to a paralegal who alleged they had a sexual relationship, was replaced as CEO by his daughter, Stephanie McMahon, and Nick Khan.
Vince McMahon was initially supposed to continue overseeing WWE’s creative content during the investigation into the paralegal’s claims.
But then the Journal reported that Vince McMahon had agreed to pay the significantly larger sum of $12 million.
Four women — all formerly affiliated with WWE — signed agreements with Vince McMahon that bar them from discussing their relationships with him, the Journal previously reported, citing people familiar with the deals and documents it reviewed.
Vince McMahon has said he is cooperating with the company’s investigation.
Vince McMahon, whose net worth reached an estimated $3.4 billion, turned what was then known as the World Wrestling Federation from a fledgling small business into a global powerhouse that generates north of $1 billion in revenue each year.
The WWE has television contracts with Fox and NBCUniversal as well as a longstanding partnership with A&E.