Martha Hart, the widow of wrestling legend Owen Hart, spoke with Chris Jericho this week for his “Talk Is Jericho” podcast, to promote next Tuesday’s “Dark Side of the Ring” about Owen on ViceTV.
Martha talked about Owen trying to get out of his WWE contract after the Montreal Screwjob when Jericho asked how Owen felt after the incident. She said Vince wouldn’t let Owen leave, and said it was a really difficult time for her husband.
“That was a really difficult time for Owen,” Martha said. “Even though he didn’t sort of share the same philosophy as Bret as far as wrestling would go, he knew that was really crushing for Bret what had happened with Vince and everything and he felt bad for his brother but he was also beholden to a contract at that time. WWE had just introduced a few years before that — contracts where you were locked in for 5 years. Owen was locked into his contract. So he requested that he be let go when everything happened with his brother and they said now that they weren’t gonna let him go.”
She continued, “Emotionally it was difficult for him to see his brother so upset and betrayed and yet have to stay and fulfill his commitment that he made to the company so it was a hard time. He preferred to leave but they wouldn’t let him go.”
Martha said WWE gave Owen a raise in pay because perhaps they were worried that he would just quit the business altogether after the incident. Martha claimed Owen was planning on getting out of the business once he had enough money saved. She also revealed that Owen considered opening up a bike shop after wrestling because he was good at building bikes.
Martha recalled how she was in the ring with the rest of the Hart Family at the end of the Canadian Stampede event, which is the last time they were all together at the same time. Jericho asked if Martha has a relationship with the Hart Family today. She revealed that the family wasn’t supportive of her lawsuit against WWE.
“Unfortunately I don’t and that’s really unfortunate. I don’t know if people are aware of everything that transpired with my lawsuit,” Martha said. “The family weren’t that supportive of my lawsuit against WWE and the worst part of it was that some of the family actively worked against me and other ones just remained silent and that was almost as hard as the ones that worked against me so when you break the trust and I felt really betrayed and sort of left alone without any support. I’ve forgiven them and I’m totally past that and I wish them well. My life hasn’t been easy and I certainly wouldn’t wish harm on anybody. I hope life has been kind to all of them. The damage is done and you just can’t repair it and that’s one of the unfortunate casualties of war. The damage is irreparable and it can’t be repaired and I let it go and I wish them well, I really do.”
Martha confirmed that WWE sued her for breach of Owen’s contract, and revealed things got so heated between the lawyers that a judge had to be in the room to conduct the depositions. The legal issues with WWE led to Martha creating The Owen Hart Foundation and she reportedly used funds from the settlement for the launch.
(H/T to WrestlingNews for the quotes)