LA Kings fire mascot employee accused of harassment
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings have fired the employee who dresses as the hockey team's mascot after an investigation into a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him earlier this year.
Tim Smith was fired Friday, the Kings said in a brief statement. The team declined further comment, citing the pending litigation.
Smith wore a 6-foot-4 lion suit and played Bailey, the Kings' mascot, in his job as the team's senior manager of game presentation and events. He had been employed by the Kings since 2007, the same year that the Bailey character debuted for the franchise.
Smith, the Kings and team owner AEG were sued by a former member of the Kings Ice Crew, which performs several functions for the team during home games at Staples Center and away from the arena.
The lawsuit alleged Smith verbally and physically harassed the woman and then fired her after she protested. A Kings team official persuaded her to return to the Ice Crew, but the lawsuit claims the harassment continued, and she eventually quit.
Smith was previously sued for harassment in 2017 by a man who alleged Smith grabbed his buttocks during an elevator ride. The lawsuit was settled in July 2018.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports