LA Kings suspends mascot after sexual harassment lawsuit
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings have suspended the man who performs as the ice hockey team's mascot after a sexual harassment lawsuit was filed against him.
The team suspended Tim Smith, who portrays Bailey the lion and is the senior manager of game presentation and events for the team, after the suit was filed by a former member of the Kings Ice Crew, ESPN reported.
The lawsuit against Smith, the Kings and team owner AEG Corp. seeks more than $1 million in damages. The team said it plans to conduct an investigation.
The woman who filed the lawsuit began working in 2018 a member of the Kings Ice Crew, who work as brand ambassadors leading fan activities during games and promoting the team away from the arena.
The lawsuit alleges Smith verbally and physically harassed the woman and then fired her after she protested.
A Kings team official asked her to return, but the harassment continued and she eventually quit, the lawsuit claims.
Smith has worked for the Kings organization since 2007. He was previously sued for harassment in 2017 by a man who alleged he grabbed his buttocks during an elevator ride. The lawsuit was settled in July 2018.