My Take On The Martha Hart Lawsuit

Justin GerhardtContributor IJuly 3, 2010

UNCASVILLE, CT - AUGUST 3:  Actor Jeremy Piven guest hosts WWE's 'Monday Night Raw' at Mohegan Sun on August 3, 2009 in Uncasville, Connecticut.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE MAY CAUSE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE TO RISE.  Now that the formalities are out of the way, let's begin.

Flashback: May 23rd, 1999:  A day that will live in wrestling infamy.

Wrestling star Owen Hart tragically falls to his death.  Shock.  Heartbreak.  Extreme sadness.  The show must go on?  Unaware of the severity or not, why would the WWE do this?  Why did this have to happen?  Let me go ahead and get this out of the way, I do not agree with the WWE's decision to go on with the show.

Two weeks later the Hart family began a lawsuit against the WWE.  A year and a half later the suit was settled out of court with the WWE paying the Hart family 18 million dollars.  Martha Hart, Owen's widow, used 2 million to start the Owen Hart Foundation, and kept the rest for herself.  Also around this time, Martha sued Diana Hart-Smith, sister of Owen, for her book; "Under the Mat: Inside Wrestling’s Greatest Family."  She sued for 19 million dollars and claimed that the book was, both slanderous and libelous; having it removed from markets everywhere.

Flash forward: June 22nd, 2010:  Lawsuit part 2.

It was reported on June 22nd of this year that Martha Hart was again suing the WWE.  I'm sure for most fans, as it was for me, a shock of sorts.  It, quite honestly, was the last thing I ever really thought I’d see again.  All I could think to myself was, how can she be doing this again?  Why?

Well, the reasons are simple.  She felt/feels that the WWE is using Owen's name and likeness more than what they had agreed upon previously.  Wait a second, slow that train down.  The only time I can think of WWE using his likeness is on DVD's, most recently, "Hart and Soul: The Hart Family Anthology."  Also, Bret Hart, Owen's brother, wore a shit with Owen's picture on it on WWE Raw.

Now that you have the facts, here's my take.

How cold of a person are you?  Are you really that callous?  Are you really that much of a…fill in the blank.  I hate what you have done, and what you are doing.  Owen Hart was a great athlete and an all around great person.  And here you are, over a decade later, tarnishing his wonderful legacy.  For shame.

How dare you try to hide Owen’s legacy from his children.  He was so proud of what he did.  He was truly loved by everyone.  How is this setting a good example for Oje and Athena?  It just disgusts me to think about.  You can’t hide the truth about their father forever.  Oje is 18 years old now.  You can’t tell me he doesn’t know the truth about his dad, and I’m sure he can draw his own conclusions about what happened.  Athena is 15, I’m sure she knows what is what.  That is if you haven’t poisoned their minds over the past decade, which I’m sure you have.

It’s high time that you leave some of these things in the past.  It’s high time that Owen is truly honored like he needs to be.  I’m talking Hall of Fame.  He needs to be remembered for all the good things, not for dying in the ring.  And certainly not for the lawsuits.  You are ruining his memory with you silly little games.  His memory deserves so much more than you are giving him.

Owen Hart was a great man.  It’s up to us to keep his memory alive.  It’s up to us to continue talking about his accomplishments.  It’s up to us to keep his true legacy alive.  Owen, wherever you are, we love you.  We always have, and always will.

If I’ve stepped on anyone’s toes in writing this article, I’m sorry; I just needed to get this off my chest.  If I’ve written something here that someone has written before me, believe me, I’m not trying to steal your idea.

In the famous words of Jack Buck, “Please excuse me while I stand and applaud.”