wrestling / News

Martha Hart Responds to Jerry McDevitt’s Comments About Her WWE Lawsuit Claims

May 19, 2020 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Owen Hart WWE, Martha Hart, Jerry McDevitt, Dark Side of the Ring

UPDATE: Martha Hart has issued a statement on WWE lawyer Jerry McDevitt’s comments made today about claims she made regarding WWE’s handling of the lawsuit she filed against WWE. Hart issued an official statement to 411mania which you can read below:

“In response to Jerry McDevitt’s recent comments I want to make it very clear, if there was one person on this planet who wanted to get to the bottom of what happened to my husband Owen it was me! The defense on the other hand was doing everything in their power to muddy the waters (as they try to continue to do) in an effort to detract from the case because they didn’t have one. I read every single affidavit taken, sat through endless face-to-face depositions, and spent over a year of my life dissecting every solitary fact of this case. To insinuate for one second that I of all people did not care about the truth behind Owen’s death, but instead was more interested in a ridiculous vendetta against the wrestling business, is beyond the pale.”

“Jerry McDevitt’s comments are absolutely absurd, reckless, and pathetic. I am not surprised that the WWE would trot out Mr. McDevitt to do damage control. After all, the events surrounding Owen’s death and the aftermath that followed are extremely disturbing and do not reflect well on their company. Not to mention that Linda McMahon was the acting CEO of the WWF (now WWE) at the time of Owen’s death, which does not bode well for them either, especially given her ties to President Donald Trump and his administration. At the end of the day truth has always been my defense and for anyone who seeks it regarding this case and the events surrounding Owen’s death I suggest they read my book. It is all in there.”

ORIGINAL: As previously reported, Dr. Martha Hart, the widow of late WWE Superstar and wrestler Owen Hart, recently spoke to CBS Sports, where she discussed about the passing of her husband, WWE’s neglect for Owen’s safety in the stunt, and her lawsuit against the company. Since that time, the article has now been updated with comments by WWE outside legal council Jerry McDevitt. Below are some highlights of McDevitt responding to Dr. Hart:

McDevitt on WWE’s side of the story: “The reality is, we’ve never told our side of the story of what happened — at least not outside of court. We told it in court, but when she talks about the way the lawsuit unfolded over the years, it really isn’t accurate what she’s saying. What she did whenever this happened is, she hired a lawyer in Kansas City who we caught essentially trying to fix the judicial selection process to get a judge that was more to their liking. We caught them and went all the way to the Missouri Supreme Court. The Missouri Supreme Court said, ‘No, no, no. We’re not going to let that happen.’ They essentially appointed an independent judge to come in from outside of Kansas City to oversee the proceedings. We were basically trying to find out what happened that night. Martha was not even remotely interested in finding out what happened that night; she just wanted to used it as a vehicle to beat up a business that she didn’t like that her husband was in, the wrestling business.”

On the claims that WWE manipulated the Hart family: “Her and her lawyer, in reality, had tried to get the members of the Hart family, Owen’s brothers and sisters, to sign a document in which they would agree to support Martha and her case and they would not talk to WWE. In exchange for that, they were all promised a share of any verdict or settlement, which is highly illegal, completely improper and you can get in big trouble for that. What happened was some of the members of the Hart family were offended by this because they realized this was wrong. … They knew this was wrong and they faxed me those documents, which I fell out of the chair when I read them. I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. This is completely illegal, you can’t do this stuff.’ All of that was then brought to the attention of the judge in Kansas City.”

McDevitt on the settlement: “She talked about how $18 million settlement, she didn’t really want to do that, she wanted justice. Again, that’s just not true. There was court-ordered mediation. We went to the mediation, and her lawyers were demanding $35 million and some admission of punitive damages. Vince told her right there, ‘Look, Martha, I feel so bad for what happened. I feel responsible because this happened on my watch. I want to take care of you and your family, I loved Owen.’ He was almost crying. We offered $17 million to take care of her. How many times does a CEO walk in a room and say he feels responsible? ‘I’m not going to argue, I just feel responsible for what happened.’ They turned it down; they wanted to go to court for their $35 million. Fine, we’ll go and litigate. The next day, I get a call from her Canadian lawyer, saying they didn’t want to do it because they knew what they were facing with the other things I talked about. They said, ‘If you could put a little more money in. If you can go to $18 million we’ll settle right now.’ That’s how the settlement went down.”

You can also read 411’s own exclusive interview with Dr. Martha Hart RIGHT HERE. Hart is a featured subject in Dark Side of the Ring‘s Season 2 Finale, “The Final Days of Owen Hart,” which debuts tonight on VICE TV.