A lawsuit has been brought against the Los Angeles Kings and their mascot lion named Bailey for an alleged groping that took place in the Staples Center elevator in 2016. A plaintiff is a man named Maso Griffin and he claims he was fired from his job after complaining to his human resources director, who is also incidentally married to the man behind the mascot.
Griffin claims the mascot played by Tim Smith put one hand on his shoulder and the other hand squeezed his buttocks while riding on an elevator. Smith happens to be married to Melissa Smith who is the human resources director for Levy Restaurants. Griffin says in the suit, which also names Kings' owner Anschutz Entertainment Group Inc., and Compass Group USA, he reported the incident to Melissa Smith the next day but she only became angry and eventually removed him from the schedule and fired him on December 21.
The suit says coworkers made fun of him after saying things like, "Was his hand furry?" The Kings issued a statement over the lawsuit saying, "We are aware of the lawsuit filed by Mr. Griffin against AEG, Levy Restaurants, Compass Group and Tim Smith. The allegations which are the subject of that lawsuit were thoroughly investigated nearly a year ago when they were first raised by this plaintiff.
Michael Altieri, senior vice president of communications and broadcasting for AEG Sports and the Kings, defended the furry mascot, "Those allegations were then - just as they are now - without any merit. Mr. Smith is an active figure in this community and a positive representative of our organization. We will vigorously defend ourselves in this matter"
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