Last night, the season two finale of Vice's Dark Side Of The Ring covered the final days of Owen Hart's life and the tragic circumstances in which he died. To promote the episode, Owen's widow Martha Hart has done several interviews and outlined how she wants to tell the "real story" of what happened on May 23, 1999, and the ensuing wrongful death lawsuit she filed against WWE.
The lawsuit was eventually settled for $18 million in 2000 after a long legal battle, and Martha discussed the legal proceedings during a recent interview with Brent Brookhouse at CBS Sports. However, comments from WWE's outside legal counsel Jerry McDevitt in the article caused quite a stir as he accused Martha of not wanting to find out what happened on May 23, 1999, and that she only filed the lawsuit so she could bash the wrestling business.
McDevitt said: "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 use it as a vehicle to beat up a business that she didn't like that her husband was in, the wrestling business."
Hart sent her response to McDevitt's comments in writing to David Bixenspan at The Daily Beast. She penned: "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."