Hockey player Kyle Beach publicly revealed Wednesday that he is the “John Doe” who accused a Chicago Blackhawks coach of sexually assaulting him a decade ago, resulting in a scandal that led to the general manager stepping down this week.
In an interview with Canadian sports channel TSN, Beach said he felt “relief” and “vindication” after a law firm’s report blew the lid off the team’s mishandling of his claim of misconduct by video coach Brad Aldrich in 2010.
“It was no longer my word against everybody else,” he said. “It was very special and important to me to have that truth come out yesterday.”
Beach, 31, who now plays in a Canadian league, was drafted by the NHL's Blackhawks in 2008 and called up to Chicago the next season to be a backup player.
In May 2010, the law firm’s report says, Aldrich invited him to his apartment, turned on porn, and said he could get him onto the roster.
“[Beach] stated that Aldrich threatened [him] by telling [him] he needed to act like he enjoyed the sexual encounter or [he] would never play in the NHL ‘or walk’ again, forcibly performed oral sex on [Beach], masturbated on [his] back, and then threatened [him] again before [he] was able to escape Aldrich’s apartment,” the report said.
Although Beach complained to higher-ups, it took weeks for the Blackhawks to take action. They then let Aldrich—who claimed the encounter was consensual—resign without an investigation. And they let him take part in the team’s Stanley Cup parade.
“The only way I could describe it was that I felt sick, I felt sick to my stomach,” Beach said in the interview.
“When they won, to see him paraded around lifting the Cup, at the parade, at the team pictures, at celebrations, it made me feel like nothing. It made me feel like I didn’t exist. It made me feel like, that I wasn’t important and… it made me feel like he was in the right and I was wrong.”
Aldrich, who had also been accused of misconduct by others, pleaded guilty in 2013 to having sex with a 16-year-old while working at high school in Michigan.
Beach filed a lawsuit detailing his allegations last year, which triggered the investigation, the law firm’s report, and GM Stan Bowman’s departure from the team, and a $2 million fine for the Blackhawks.
Beach said that while he felt “scared and alone” back in 2010, it was empowering to unmask himself as a survivor after years of quiet torment.
“It’s destroyed me from the inside out. And I want everybody to know in the sports world... that if these things happen to you, you need to speak up,” he said.