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Ex-Blackhawk suffered depression, anxiety, got divorced because of alleged Aldrich sexual assault

In new court documents filed Thursday, a Georgia psychologist described the “emotional distress” the player suffered as a result of the alleged assault.

Former Blackhawks video coach Bradley Aldrich allegedly assaulted a player in May 2010.
Sun-Times file photo

The former Blackhawks player allegedly assaulted by former video coach Bradley Aldrich suffered anxiety, depression, severe sleep and anger problems, sexual dysfunction and marital problems resulting in divorce as a result of the assault, new court documents claim.

The player, identified anonymously as “John Doe 1,” has sued the Hawks for negligence in the matter, alleging they covered up Aldrich’s actions after the May 2010 assault.

New responses filed Thursday by Susan Loggans — the lawyer representing both Doe 1 and “John Doe 2,” a Michigan high school student whom Aldrich assaulted in 2013 — include an affidavit from Julie Medlin, a Georgia-based psychologist who evaluated Doe 1 in late 2020. The responses are the latest in a long series of motions and amendments by the Hawks and Loggans in both lawsuits.

Doe 1’s hockey career entered a “downward spiral” ending in an “emotional breakdown” while playing in Austria after the assault, Medlin said. Her evaluation revealed the aforementioned “emotional distress” symptoms.

On the night of the assault, Aldrich allegedly threatened Doe 1 physically with a baseball bat and rhetorically with claims he would ruin his hockey career before sexually touching and ejaculating on him, per earlier court documents.

The Hawks have motioned to dismiss Doe 1’s lawsuit, claiming the two-year statute of limitations should have expired long ago. Doe 1 claims the statute didn’t start until 2019, when he reflected on the alleged assault and realized it was wrongful.

The Jenner & Block investigation into the Hawks’ handling of the alleged incident is expected to conclude this fall.

Another new filing

Another new response, also filed Thursday in the Doe 2 case, claims the Hawks’ letting Aldrich enjoy a day with the Stanley Cup in summer 2010 in Houghton, Michigan, was equivalent to a recommendation.

The issue of whether the Hawks recommended Aldrich to Houghton High School, where he was a volunteer hockey coach when he assaulted Doe 2 in 2013, is central to the legitimacy of that lawsuit.

“Most definitely, there was communication between the Blackhawks and Houghton,” Loggans wrote in a letter to Hawks lawyers. “At the very least, there was non-verbal communication. The Blackhawks gave Mr. Aldrich the actual Stanley Cup to take to Houghton to show it off. The Cup was inscribed with Mr. Aldrich’s name. Standing alone, this communication vouches for Mr. Aldrich’s suitability as a coach.”

All employees of the Cup-winning team traditionally receive one day with the Cup. Aldrich, however, did not receive his Cup day until September 2010, after he had left the team.

Loggans’ letter responds to another letter in which Hawks lawyers threatened to pursue court sanctions against her for spreading the “demonstrably false” claim that they -recommended Aldrich.

The original version of the Doe 2 lawsuit claimed the Hawks ‘‘provided positive references to future employers for Bradley Aldrich.” An amended version of the lawsuit was less specific in that realm, claiming only the Hawks provided a ‘‘positive review and/or employment verification of Aldrich to Houghton.’’

The Hawks strongly pushed back against those claims in their most recent motion to dismiss. Indeed, no evidence has surfaced yet of the Hawks sending any reference letter to Miami (Ohio) University — where Aldrich worked in 2012 — or Houghton High, but the lawsuit has not yet advanced to the discovery phase, when such a letter could surface.

Colton Dach signs

The Hawks on Friday signed Colton Dach, Kirby’s younger brother and their 2021 second-round draft pick, to a three-year entry-level contract with an $870,000 salary-cap hit.

The contract will functionally slide to next season, though, because Dach is headed back to Canadian juniors this season. His WHL rights were dealt Tuesday from Saskatoon to Kelowna because he requested a trade.