- Martha Hart
Hart was born Martha Joan Patterson in 1966, and is the youngest of 11 children. Her mother, Joan, had battled breast cancer before Hart and her sister Virgina were born; her father left her mother when Martha was young. Education is very important to Martha. She has completed two degrees at the University of Calgary in Psychology and Sociology before moving to England to complete a Masters degree in Social and Development Psychology at Cambridge University, and as of 2010, is now in her final year of her PhD there. She met her husband, Owen Hart, in 1982, while they were both still in high school. She attended a Stampede Wrestling event with a friend, and met Owen after recognizing him as one of the wrestlers who attended her school for a wrestling practice. She later stated that it was love at first sight and their relationship was a dream come true. They married on July 1, 1989, and had two children together: Oje Edward Hart (born March 5, 1992) and Athena Christie/Christy Hart (born September 23, 1995). Owen died while performing a stunt on May 23, 1999 at the World Wrestling Federation (WWF)'s Over the Edge pay-per-view. As a result of the vast charitable contributions achieved through the good works of the Owen Hart Foundation, Martha was named Individual Philanthropist of the Year in 2004 by the AFP. She was Calgary's 2011 Champions of Learning.
Three weeks after Owen's death, Hart launched a wrongful death lawsuit against the WWF, she included her children and Owen's parents on the lawsuit, which was settled out of court for approximately $18 million on November 2, 2000. She set aside millions of the settlement to establish the Owen Hart Foundation. She has managed the foundation since 1999. Some of the money also went into trust funds for her children, until they are 21. After the lawsuit, Martha separated herself from the majority of the Hart family. She criticized those family members who worked against her with the WWF. There is real-life tension between Martha and her sister-in-law Diana Hart-Smith. Martha sued Diana and claims that Diana's book, Under the Mat: Inside Wrestling's Greatest Family, is both slanderous and libelous, and had it removed from markets; Martha was issued a public apology by the publishers, who were also required to give an undisclosed amount as a donation to the Owen Hart Foundation as stated in the settlement agreement. On June 22nd, 2010, Martha filed another lawsuit against Vince and Linda McMahon, this time for wrongfully using Owen's name and likeness in numerous DVDs under the WWE name, as well as for deceptive business practices, and not paying royalty payments to Owen's estate and his children.
In 2002, she started writing a book entitled Broken Harts: The Life and Death of Owen Hart that was released in 2004, which is about their life together from when they met as teens and the life they created for their two children. Her book was a #1 Best Seller in Canada, and is now published in several countries including the United States and the United Kingdom, with all of her proceeds allocated to charity.
Owen Hart Foundation
Every year, as a tribute to Owen Hart, Martha hosts a high profile fundraising event for the Owen Hart Foundation,attended by some of the biggest names in the entertainment community. In December 2000, she announced the opening of the Owen Hart Foundation; a Charity that provides university/college scholarships for children in need, as well as housing for low income families. The Owen Hart Foundation also supports a number of other worthwhile charities in the Calgary community. The first three charity events were in support of YouVille Women's Residence, a shelter for abused women. Every year, Martha hosts a Gala Charity Event with a guest star; in recent years, guest stars have included, Bob Newhart 2004, Paul Anka 2005, Neil Sedaka 2006, Bill Cosby 2007, Howie Mandel 2008, Jerry Seinfeld 2009 - 10th Anniversary, Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band 2010, Russell Brand, 2011. Martha has stated that she started the Owen Hart Foundation to create a meaningful legacy for Owen and because she knew Owen would be happy that she was helping people in his name, especially in the area of education, as education was very important to him and Martha.
- ^ a b c Greg Oliver (November 20, 2001). "Martha Hart sues Diana over book". SLAM! Wrestling. http://slam.canoe.ca/SlamWrestlingHarts/nov20_lawsuit-can.html. Retrieved 2007-06-18.
- ^ AP-Reuters (November 9, 2000). "Legal victory bittersweet: Martha Hart". Slam! Wrestling. http://slam.canoe.ca/OwenHart/nov9_hart-ap.html. Retrieved 2007-04-07. [dead link]
- ^ "Hart family feud With WWF suit settled, dead wrestler's widow lashes out at in-laws". http://slam.canoe.ca/OwenHart/nov8_hart-sun.html.
- ^ a b c Eric Francis (November 8, 2000). "Hart family feud: With WWF suit settled, dead wrestler's widow lashes out at in-laws". Calgary Sun. http://slam.canoe.ca/OwenHart/nov8_hart-sun.html. Retrieved 2007-06-18.
- ^ http://www.thecalgaryfoundation.org/owenhart/about.html
- Hart, Martha (2004). Broken Harts: The Life and Death of Owen Hart. M. Evans and Company, Inc.. ISBN 978-1590770368.
- Shaun Assael and Mike Mooneyham (2002). Sex, Lies, and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment. Crown. p. 258. ISBN 1400051436.
- Diana Hart (2001). Under the Mat: Inside Wrestling's Greatest Family. Fenn. p. 200. ISBN 1551682567.
- Eric Francis (November 8, 2000). "Hart family feud: With WWF suit settled, dead wrestler's widow lashes out at in-laws". Calgary Sun. http://slam.canoe.ca/OwenHart/nov8_hart-sun.html. Retrieved 2007-06-18.
- Michelle Mark (January 9, 2002). "Owen Hart's tragic tale to hit big screen". Calgary Sun. http://slam.canoe.ca/OwenHart/jan9_moviedeal-sun.html. Retrieved 2007-06-18.
- AP-Reuters (November 9, 2000). "Legal victory bittersweet: Martha Hart". Slam! Wrestling. http://slam.canoe.ca/OwenHart/nov9_hart-ap.html. Retrieved 2007-04-07. [dead link]
- Greg Oliver (November 20, 2001). "Martha Hart sues Diana over book". SLAM! Wrestling. http://slam.canoe.ca/SlamWrestlingHarts/nov20_lawsuit-can.html. Retrieved 2007-06-18.
- This Morning (November 20, 2000). "WEST - Martha Hart's 'day of reckoning (Archived radio Broadcast)". CBC. http://archives.cbc.ca/sports/wrestling/topics/1237-6904/. Retrieved 2007-06-18.
- Martha Hart Biography
- Martha Hart at the Internet Movie Database
- Owen Hart Foundation official website
- Martha Hart Interview
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