Bret shares his thoughts.
This past April at the WWE Hall Of Fame ceremony, former World Heavyweight Champion and WWE Hall Of Famer Mark Henry made it a point during his speech to send a message to Martha Hart who is the widow of the late great Owen Hart. Henry asked for Martha's blessing and pleaded to her to allow WWE to induct Owen into their Hall Of Fame.
In the past when WWE has used Owen Hart's name in DVD's and promotional videos it brought upon lawsuits from Martha Hart who once sued Linda and Vince McMahon for doing just that--using Owen's name in projects that WWE profited from and reportedly did not pay the royalties from those projects to Owen's children and estate.
Owen's brother Bret Hart recently joined the CBS 'In This Corner' podcast and the WWE Hall Of Famer voiced his opinion on many topics including Owen not being in WWE's Hall Of Fame after so many years have gone by. Bret did partially place the blame on Martha Hart as he stated that instead of keeping Owen's memory alive, he feels that she is doing more to erase it.
“I think Martha, Owen's widow, she's a very obtuse, square-headed person." Bret said. "I think she's done more to erase my brother Owen's memory than she ever did to remember him. I think it really bothers me that the fans that loved Owen so much didn't get a chance to remember him. You do these kind of things for people are here--left to remember them. I mean Owen, it would never matter to him if he was in the Hall Of Fame, but I think that you know it would mean a lot to different family members in my family. I know Mark Henry as an example, gave a strong speech or talk this year about getting Owen into the Hall Of Fame and I totally agree,” Hart explained.
Martha Hart has responded to Bret Hart's comments with a detailed statement explaining that she refuses to work with WWE because they want to exploit Owen's image for financial purposes.
"The suggestion by Bret Hart that I am “erasing” the memory of my late husband, Owen Hart, is reckless, irresponsible, and clearly untrue.
Bret’s comments are rooted in the fact that I have steadfastly refused to work with the WWE to exploit Owen’s image for commercial gain. Owen was an incredible entertainer and I know that his many fans around the world enjoyed his wrestling career immensely. I encourage them to continue to do so. But I am firm in my belief that the WWE was responsible for Owen’s death. As a result, I cannot and will not support any efforts by the WWE to profit from Owen’s memory.
Instead, I, my son Oje and daughter Athena have worked tirelessly to honor Owen through the good works of The Owen Hart Foundation, which has exceeded $4 million in gift giving and contributions toward scholarships, home owner bursaries, and other special projects that have greatly improved the lives of so many in Canada and around the world. We have always believed that this is the most fitting public tribute to a man of profound integrity; a wonderful human being who just happened to wrestle. I know that Owen would be very proud of the tremendous accomplishments the Foundation has achieved in his name.
Bret Hart’s comments are disrespectful and cruel. It is disappointing that so many in the media have chosen to report them without seeking my perspective. Whatever Bret may believe, the fact is that, far from “erasing” Owen’s memory, I have devoted the last 20 years to celebrating his life in a very public way. I can think of very few people who have been remembered so glowingly by their spouse."
For more information about The Owen Hart Foundation, including the Scholarship Fund, the Owen Hart Foundation Housing Program, and other special projects, visit www.owenhartfoundation.org.
Our OHF Mandate is Education: “Helping individuals with limited resources but unlimited potential.”
Contact: Dr. J. Martha Hart, PhD
Email: [email protected]
One Hall Of Fame that Owen was inducted into this year was the Pro Wrestling Hall Of Fame. To read up on that, click here. If you are going to use the quote above, please credit CBS' 'In This Corner' podcast with an H/T to Fightful for the transcription.