Martha Hart Responds To Bret Hart's Claim That She's Erasing The Memory Of Owen Hart - PWPIX.net

Martha Hart Responds To Bret Hart’s Claim That She’s Erasing The Memory Of Owen Hart

Owen Hart

Nearly 20 years after his tragic death, the legacy of Owen Hart lives on despite his notable absence from the WWE Hall of Fame, something that continues to baffle his older brother.

“I think for what Owen gave to wrestling that it would be important for him to be in the Hall of Fame,” WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart said during a conversation on CBS Sports’ In This Corner podcast. “I think it would have meant a lot to my dad [the late Stu Hart], and it would mean a lot to me. I don’t think the Hall of Fame is the same without him.

“I know that Mark Henry, as an example, made a strong speech this past year about getting Owen to the Hall of Fame, and I totally agree.”

Owen, the youngest of 12 in the legendary Hart pro wrestling family from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, died on May 23, 1999 due to injuries suffered following an equipment malfunction and subsequent fall from the rafters of Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri during his ring entrance at the WWF’s Over the Edge pay-per-view event.

Henry, a former stablemate, and friend of Owen used a portion of his own Hall of Fame induction speech during WrestleMania 34 weekend in April to make a very public and emotional plea aimed at Owen’s widow, Martha Hart, who has long objected to WWE honoring her late husband.

“Owen brought so much joy to my life,” Henry said. “I wish that he could be here with us, and I miss him dearly. And Martha, let that camera zoom in here, please. This is not from the company, this is not from other wrestlers, this is from his other brother. He needs to be here, and I hate that I haven’t kept up like I should have. I would love to be able to look down one day and see [Owen’s son] Oje able to be among us. This is his birthright.”

Martha, 51, has long been at odds with both WWE and the extended Hart family following Owen’s death. She has been involved in multiple lawsuits attempting to protect his name and image.

Bret pulled no punches when asked whether he believes WWE should push past the wishes of Martha in order to honor his brother.

“Oh yeah, I think Martha, Owen’s widow, is a very obtuse, square-headed person,” Hart said. “I think she has 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 love Owen so much don’t get a chance to remember him. You do these kind of things for the people that are here left to remember them.”

Martha issued a press release on Thursday defending her decisions, saying that she does not want WWE profiting off of Owen since she blames the company for his death.

“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,” Martha says. “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.

“Bret Hart’s comments are disrespectful and cruel,” she continued. “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.”

The full statement can be read below:

Statement From Martha Hart in Response to Published Comments by Wrestler Bret Hart

CALGARY, Alberta, July 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Dr. J. Martha Hart, PhD, released the following statement today in response to published comments attributed to the former WWE wrestler, Bret Hart:

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.