The nationwide sex harassment uproar has ensnared a furry professional sports mascot — “Bailey,” the Los Angeles Kings human lion.
The man who appears at Los Angeles Kings games as team mascot “Bailey” has been sued by a dishwasher for allegedly groping the defendant’s buttocks in a Staples Center elevator in 2016.
Maso Griffin’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit names as defendants Tim Smith and his employer, Kings’ owner Anschutz Entertainment Group Inc., as well as Levy Restaurants Inc. and Compass Group USA, which both provide food services to Staples Center. The suit seeks unspecified damages.
Smith did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment. A spokesman for the Kings said team officials have not seen the lawsuit and could not comment.
The suit states that Griffin worked for Levy Restaurants and that Smith wears the lion costume and Kings jersey with the number 72 as the team’s mascot “Bailey.” Smith is married to Melissa Smith, Levy’s director of human resources, according to the complaint.
During an elevator ride at the arena last Dec. 8, Smith, while dressed in the “Bailey” costume, put one hand on one of Griffin’s shoulders and used his other hand to squeeze the plaintiff’s buttocks, the suit alleges.
Griffin was angry and was about to say something to Smith when a co- worker of the plaintiff — who was also in the elevator — said, “That’s the HR lady’s husband,” according to the complaint.
Griffin complained the next day to Melissa Smith, who became angered, and the plaintiff was “taken off the schedule for a time,” the suit states.
Griffin was subjected to embarrassing derogatory remarks by co-workers when he returned, including “Was his hand furry?,” the suit states.
The suit states that Griffin was fired during a meeting with Melissa Smith on Dec. 21 and he believes he lost his job for complaining about her husband’s alleged conduct.
–City News Service
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