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Rita Chatterton Sexual Assault Allegations Against Vince McMahon Resurface, Ex-Wrestler Backs Claim

New York Magazine has a new story about former WWF referee Rita Chatterton, and another former wrestler has come forward in support of her past allegations of sexual assault against Vince McMahon. 

Rita Chatterton was known as WWF’s first female referee, and started working for the company in 1984 as ‘Rita Marie’. According to past allegations made by Chatterton, she was the victim of sexual assault by Vince McMahon. According to Chatterton, who first spoke publicly about the accusations during two 1992 appearances on The Geraldo Rivera Show and Now It Can Be Told, McMahon had raped her after a WWF show in Poughkeepsie, New York. 

Chatterton began working for WWF in January of 1985 and McMahon later asked her to join the company full-time, and she said he’d promised her a contract worth $500,000 per year. Chatterton claimed that on the night of the alleged incident in July 1986, McMahon invited her to speak about her future with the company at a diner, and they were seated at a table with about a dozen others. McMahon then asked her to venture to another diner down the street so they could discuss her career away from the other people because it was none of their business. Chatterton acquiesced, but when she approached her own car, McMahon invited her into his limousine and said they could speak there since he was tired and noted it would be brief. 

Chatterton declined to speak in detail to New York Magazine about the alleged incident, but the author, Abraham Riesman, used her original testimony from the pair of 1992 television interviews to recount her claims for the new feature.   

Chatterton told Rivera that McMahon kept talking about her half-a-million-dollar contract and making comments about satisfying him, then he unzipped his pants and tried to force her to perform oral sex. Chatterton then told Rivera that when she couldn’t meet his demands, McMahon got angry at her and pulled her pants off, forcing her on top of him while he threatened to take away the contract she desired and blackball her. According to her 1992 testimony, Chatterton said that the incident ended after McMahon, who previously warned her against fraternizing with talent, said that she just got involved with one, and she noted that her wrist was bruised afterward. 

Chatterton says she went back into the diner and cried in the bathroom, went home and took a “five-hour shower”, and contacted a lawyer the next day. The lawyer was willing to take the case, but warned that it would be a tough case because it was McMahon’s word against hers, and she showered and didn’t go to the hospital to report it. 

Former WWF wrestler Mario Mancini (Leonard Inzitari) was also featured on the record about the allegations, corroborating Chatterton’s claims as well as why he was finally speaking up about the incident. 

According to Inzitari, he found Chatterton by the ring before an event that summer, and she began crying when she made eye contact with him. Chatterton recounted the incident and Inzitari, who had previously warned her to stay away from McMahon due to the repercussions, said that he told Chatterton that her time was numbered and WWF would no longer use her anymore.

“Was she taken advantage of? Absolutely,” Inzitari told Riesman. “Was she scared to death? Absolutely. Did she wanna do that? Probably not.”

Inzitari says stayed quiet about his conversation with Chatterton out of fear of being blackballed from the wrestling business, but the recent allegations about McMahon in the Wall Street Journal left him feeling disgusting, noting that McMahon “dug himself such a deep hole that I’m just tired of it. I can’t do it anymore.”

“I’ll tell you why I’m hopping on the bandwagon now,” Inzitari added. “There’s worse stuff than that.”

McMahon did not respond to a request for comment by Riesman made through WWE and his personal lawyer, Jerry McDevitt. McMahon previously filed a lawsuit against Chatterton after the Rivera show appearances, claiming there was a conspiracy against him to commit “severe emotional distress” with the fabricated rape accusation. 

McMahon’s suit was ultimately discontinued without resolution. In recent years, the accusations came up when Talking Points Memo brought up the allegation during Linda McMahon’s 2010 run for Senate in Connecticut, but McDevitt responded then and told TPM that McMahon would “pursue all available remedies against those associated with this smear job” if the allegations were brought up again. TPM ran the initial post but didn’t investigate the story any further.

Chatterton closed by saying that McMahon won’t pay for what he did to her, but the new “hush pact” allegations give her hope that he might face consequences for something.

“I’m sure others will come forward. Because we’re not the only two,” Chatterton said in reference to herself and the former paralegal in The Journal’s article. “There’s not a doubt in my mind about that.”

McMahon is under investigation for a secret “hush pact” related to an alleged affair. McMahon made the decision to voluntarily step back from his responsibilities for the duration of the investigation and Stephanie McMahon is serving as the interim CEO and interim chairwoman during the process.

Riesman is also the author of Ringmaster: Vince McMahon and the Unmaking of America, due in March 2023 from Simon & Schuster publishers.

Read More: Report: Update On Talent’s Response To Vince McMahon Stepping Down, Stephanie McMahon Becoming Interim CEO