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Widow had to tell her story

By PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

 Martha Hart is telling it like it is.

 After suing the World Wrestling Entertainment and forcing it to concede $18 million US last year in an out-of-court settlement for herself, her two children and her in-laws, the widow of wrestling star Owen Hart has put her account to paper.

 Along with Calgary Sun sports writer Eric Francis, Hart has authored a book, Broken Harts, The Life and Death of Owen Hart, published by Key Porter. The book is about her life with Owen and provides a full account of the events leading up to and after his fall in a pay-per-view event in Kansas City on May 23, 1999. The fall, which happened in the Kemper Arena, drew worldwide attention, as did her stance against the mighty sports and entertainment giant.

 "I really felt I needed to write a book to describe everything that I lived through, including my personal grief and my loss, the children's loss, our life together, everything," Hart said in a recent interview with The Toronto Sun at her Calgary home. "People couldn't understand the whole story without it coming from me and I felt there were lots of distorted versions out there and that I needed to clear the air and say my piece the way it should be said. I felt the only way to have the truth be known is to hear it from me.

 "There are so many elements to the book. Underneath all of it it's the most amazing love story and on top of it is our life together; the struggle to try to live a normal, domestic lifestyle in this crazy, wacky, world of wrestling; and how the wrestling industry had changed over time and how we tried to maintain this very normal lifestyle and being surrounded by all this corruption, in a sense."

 Hart, who had been married for 10 years, believes the book has many more interesting layers.

 "If somebody lost somebody, they could relate to this book," she said. "I speak very candidly about my grief and what I went through and how that felt for me. If you were reading it for that, you'd get so much out of it. If you liked the legal aspect, there's that element to it.

 "And just the wrestling element, too, and what it's like to live in a world like that. It's a strange world and it's like a subculture. I think I kind of shine the light on that and reveal that for people to see how it would feel to live in that kind of environment.

 "Above all, the book is about what happened to Owen because no one has ever known the truth about what happened the night he died and all the surrounding facts in the case. The defence never wanted to deal with the facts in this case. Because there wasn't a trial, that was really important that people know what happened and how everything unfolded and how I came to the decisions I came to and the evolution of the thought process that I had to go through to get to the final decisions I made and why I made them. There's so much that people don't know about the story yet and that's why I had to write it, too."

 Hart said all monies she receives from the book will go toward the foundation she set up in Owen's name and which provides various forms of financial assistance to students, families and organizations.

More on Owen Hart




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