The L.A. Kings Suspended Their Mascot After a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

The man who plays Bailey the lion is being sued for sexual misconduct for a second time.
AP Photo/Grant Hindsley, File
AP Photo/Grant Hindsley, File

The Los Angeles Kings have suspended the man who plays their mascot in the wake of a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a woman who says she was fired after reporting his behavior.

A woman who began working for the Kings’ in-game entertainment crew in 2018 filed a lawsuit against the man, whose name is Tim Smith, as well as the Kings and the team’s owner AEG, TMZ Sports reported last week. The woman says Smith — who not only portrayed “Bailey” the lion, but also worked as the Kings’ senior manager of game presentation and events — made inappropriate sexual comments and leered at her. The woman, who filed the lawsuit under the alias “Jane Doe,” said she was fired after she protested against Smith’s advances, according to ESPN. She returned to work after another Kings official asked her to, but Doe says she ultimately left after Smith put his face in her crotch in the locker room and made more inappropriate comments, TMZ reported.

Now, Doe is seeking more than $1 million in damages, ESPN reported.

In a statement to the Los Angeles Times on Friday, the Kings said that they were aware of the lawsuit. 

"The LA Kings take these allegations very seriously and, as an organization, we believe that everyone has the right to work in an environment free from any form of harassment or discrimination,” the King said. "We will conduct a thorough investigation into this matter. The employee in question has been suspended, effective immediately, pending the conclusion of that investigation. We are withholding any further comment at this time." Smith was also sued back in late 2017 by a man who claimed Smith groped his buttocks in 2016. That man also said he was fired after he reported Smith’s behavior. The Los Angeles Kings defended Smith at the time, and the lawsuit was privately settled in 2018, according to local news outlet ABC7.

Cover:  In this Thursday, June 14, 2012 file photo shows Bailey, the Los Angeles Kings' mascot covered in confetti at the end of a parade celebrating the teams' winning of the Stanley Cup in the NHL hockey championship at Staples Center, Los Angeles, Calif. (AP Photo/Grant Hindsley, File)