A former Hall of Fame player who played in the NHL and became a national treasure for his advocacy for gender equality is being sued by an actress who said he gave her a hard time in the locker room during the 1992 Winter Olympics in Calgary.
Ed Belfour died last week at the age of 78 after a bout with brain cancer.
The suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court says Belfour was a “champion” in the fight against cancer, but the actress says he treated her with “a contemptuous, dismissive, and hostile manner that resulted in her becoming the victim of his bullying.”
According to the lawsuit, Belfour had a conversation with actress Julie Andrews in the lobby of the Staples Center in Los Feliz, California, on March 6, 1992, in which she said Belfour would be a tough pill to swallow for a woman.
“Belfour told Andrews that he had to be tough to be successful,” the suit says.
“He said, ‘I don’t think I can handle the pressure of having to be the first woman on a team that won a Stanley Cup.'”
The lawsuit claims that Belfour “repeatedly told Andrews to get her act together and said she had to ‘get her act in gear’ and ‘get over it.'”
Belfour’s longtime friend, hockey great Bobby Hull, said in a statement that Belget’s death is “heartbreaking news” to his family and friends.
“Ed Belvery, the Hall of Famers best player and a tireless advocate for equality and women’s rights, passed away today,” Hull said.
“I am deeply saddened by the news of Ed Belvery’s passing, which took place yesterday.
The Belget family asks that you continue to honor Ed Belget with the respect that he deserved.
I want to extend my deepest condolences to his loved ones and his friends and family.”
Hull said Belget was “one of the most passionate, committed and courageous men who ever played the game.”
Belfour, who played seven seasons in the league and won the Stanley Cup twice, was an All-Star in the 1991-92 season with the Montreal Canadiens and was inducted into the Hockey Hall Of Fame in 1998.
He also played three seasons in Montreal, scoring a career-high 42 goals.