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Nikki and Brie Garcia Break Silence on WWE Sexual Assault Lawsuit Naming Stepdad John Laurinaitis

Nikki and Brie Garcia Address WWE Sexual Assault Lawsuit That Named Their Stepdad John Laurinaitis
Brie Garcia and Nikki GarciaAnna Webber/Getty Images for On Location

Nikki and Brie Garcia broke their silence on the recent WWE sexual assault lawsuit that named their stepfather, John Laurinaitis.

“We are shocked and disheartened with the recent allegations against members of the WWE,” the Garcia twins, both 40, wrote via a joint Instagram statement on Monday, January 29. “It has been a lot to process since we just found out this past week as you all did.”

Nikki and Brie made their WWE debut in 2007 as the Bella Twins. The sisters officially retired from the organization in March 2023 and started going by the Garcia Twins. (“We were just craving a new chapter in our lives and we knew in doing that we had to go back to who we were and who we are — the Garcia twins,” Brie told Us in her May 2023 cover story with Nikki). “And I feel like, for us, the Bella Twins really were a character at the WWE. Now, we were attached to them outside of the ring because we were using the name so much, but at the end of the day, it was a big part of WWE.”)

In their Monday statement, the duo voiced their support for the victims but did not specifically call out anyone who has been accused. Laurinaitis, a former pro wrestler known as Johnny Ace, has been married to Nikki and Brie’s mother, Kathy Colace Laurinaitis, since 2016.

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“This is something we don’t stand for or condone from anyone no matter who they are,” their statement concluded. “We want all women to feel safe and supported in the workplace and in their everyday lives.”

Last week, former WWE staffer Janel Grant claimed in a lawsuit that she was a victim of “physical and emotional abuse, sexual assault and trafficking” against former World Wrestling Entertainment cofounder Vince McMahon.

Nikki and Brie Garcia Address WWE Sexual Assault Lawsuit That Named Their Stepdad John Laurinaitis
Brie Garcia and Nikki Garcia Mike Coppola/Getty Images

According to court documents obtained by Us Weekly at the time, Grant alleged that McMahon, 78, “pushed” her to have a physical relationship with him. She also claimed he shared sexually explicit photographs of Grant with other men in the organization and coerced her into having sex with other staffers during work hours.

While McMahon is the main subject of the lawsuit, Laurinaitis, who is the WWE general manager, was named in the suit along with the corporation as a whole.

Grant claimed that the WWE was aware of the “wrongdoing” and attempted to cover it up. She alleged that McMahon attempted to silence her with a nondisclosure agreement.

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McMahon has denied the allegations.

Since the news broke, McMahon has stepped down from TKO Group, which is the media group that the WWE falls under.

“Out of respect for the WWE Universe, the extraordinary TKO business and its board members and shareholders, partners and constituents, and all of the employees and Superstars who helped make WWE into the global leader it is today, I have decided to resign from my executive chairmanship and the TKO board of directors, effective immediately,” McMahon shared in a statement to Us Weekly on Friday, January 26. “I stand by my prior statement that Ms. Grant’s lawsuit is replete with lies, obscene made-up instances that never occurred, and is a vindictive distortion of the truth. I intend to vigorously defend myself against these baseless accusations, and look forward to clearing my name.”

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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