The Los Angeles Kings announced they've suspended Tim Smith, who portrays their mascot Bailey the lion, following a sexual harassment lawsuit recently filed by a former member of the Kings Ice Crew.
Along with being the mascot, Smith is senior manager of game presentation and events for the team, overseeing the Ice Crew.
TMZ Sports reported Thursday that a woman who was hired for the Ice Crew in 2018 had filed suit against Smith, the Kings and team owner AEG, and was seeking more than $1 million in damages.
According to the suit, the woman alleges that Smith sexually harassed her verbally and physically, and when she protested against the behavior, Smith fired her from the Ice Crew. The suit alleges that a Kings team official asked her to return, but that the harassment continued and she eventually quit the job.
"We are aware of the recently-filed lawsuit alleging misconduct by one of our employees," the Kings said in a statement. "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.
"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 has worked for the Kings organization since 2007. He was previously sued for harassment in 2017 by a man who alleged that Smith grabbed his buttocks during an elevator ride. That suit was settled between the parties in July 2018.