The Los Angeles Kings have suspended Tim Smith, the actor behind the mask of mascot Bailey the lion, after the filing of a sexual harassment lawsuit against him by a former member of the Kings Ice Crew, according to ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski.
Smith also works as the Kings’ senior manager of game presentation and events, per the team’s directory.
Kings sexual harassment lawsuit seeking $1M
TMZ first reported the lawsuit on Thursday, filed by a woman under the alias Jane Doe. She reportedly claimed to work under Smith, who oversaw the Ice Crew starting in 2018, and alleges Smith routinely made sexually charged comments about her, made repeated lewd jokes and would leer at her.
Doe reportedly alleged that once she made it clear Smith’s comments and advances were unwanted, he fired her in retaliation. She claimed that a team official acknowledged Smith’s conduct when asking her to come back and promising to shield her, but the conduct reportedly continued when she returned.
In one alleged incident, Doe claims Smith put his crotch in her face while thrusting his hips in the mascot locker room, prompting her to quit for good.
Doe has reportedly named Smith, the Kings and AEG, the company that owns the team, as defendants in her lawsuit, and is seeking more than $1 million in damages for sexual harassment and retaliation.
Kings conducting an investigation
In a statement released to ESPN, the Kings said they are aware of the misconduct allegations and said Smith will be suspended while they investigate.
"We are aware of the recently-filed lawsuit alleging misconduct by one of our employees," the Kings said in a statement. "The LA Kings take these allegations very seriously and, as an organization, we believe that everyone has the right to work in an environment free from any form of harassment or discrimination.
"We will conduct a thorough investigation into this matter. The employee in question has been suspended, effective immediately, pending the conclusion of that investigation. We are withholding any further comment at this time."
Per ESPN, Smith has worked for the Kings since 2007 and was sued for harassment in 2017 by a man alleging that Smith grabbed his buttocks on an elevator. The suit was reportedly settled in 2018.
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