Kyle Beach, a Canadian forward and former Chicago Blackhawks prospect, told Canada’s TSN on Wednesday he was the unnamed player in a sexual assault probe of the NHL club.
Beach revealed he was “John Doe” in an emotional interview a day after Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman and senior vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac left the club.
They departed after the results of an investigation into sex assault allegations found the team failed to properly deal with 2010 claims of misconduct against former video coach Brad Aldrich.
“I have many emotions,” Beach told TSN. “I cried, I smiled, I laughed, I cried some more. My girlfriend and I, we didn’t know how to think. She has been my rock through this process. And I’m fortunate to have her here.
“I have a great feeling of relief, and vindication. I really felt like there were lies told. And it was important and special to have the truth come out.”
A lawsuit filed in May by Beach as “John Doe” said Aldrich assaulted him and another player in May 2010 but the team took no actions until June so as not to distract from the club’s run to a Stanley Cup title, the Blackhawks’ first since 1961.
Aldrich left the Blackhawks at the end of the 2010 season.
Beach had been called up to the Blackhawks during the 2010 playoffs from Chicago’s top development club as a practice player, calling it “an extremely special moment” but adding, “Unfortunately, a few weeks later, the memories were shattered and my life was changed forever.”
Beach, a 31-year-old left wing, said it was difficult to see Aldrich with the title team after the abuse.
“I felt sick, sick to my stomach,” Beach said. “Nothing happened. His life was the same as it was the day before. To see him with the team, with the Stanley Cup, it made me feel like nothing, like I didn’t exist.
“It made me feel like I wasn’t important. It made me feel like he was right, and I was wrong.”
Beach said he kept silent about the abuse so he could continue to pursue his dream of playing in the NHL.
“I did what I had to do to survive, to continue to pursue my dream,” he said. “So I didn’t talk about it.”