(Photo Credit: The Athletic)
The controversies surrounding San Jose Sharks left winger Evander Kane this off season seem never ending. Prior to the 2020-21 season, Kane filed for bankruptcy for personal debts he’s accrued. At the end of July, his wife Anna filed for divorce which then led to her making serious allegations against Evander Kane. The allegations accused Kane of gambling on and throwing his own games to win money with bookies. Additionally, Anna accused him of abandoning her, their daughter, and their unborn son to party in Europe. She alleged that their house was being taken by the bank, she had no money to purchase formula and she had to sell her wedding ring. After the allegations were made via Instagram, the NHL as well as the Sharks released statements that these accusations were going to be investigated. Despite Kane denying these allegations the damage between him, the NHL and the Sharks may not be repairable. Reports state that several Sharks players do not want Kane to return to the team because he ignores team rules and marches to the beat of his own drum.
Now, there is a new concern in this continuing saga. A federal bankruptcy judge has allowed discovery to move forward in a lawsuit against Kane. The lawsuit which was filed in 2018, but delayed due to COVID-19, is being brought by Hope Parker, his alleged ex-girlfriend. Parker alleges that Kane backed out on a promise to pay her at least $2 million dollars if she aborted their pregnancy. By granting discovery, the judge is allowing Parker to seek testimony and electronic correspondence from Kane pertaining to these events. Specifically, correspondence with Kane who has said he "changed his mind" about paying Parker the agreed upon amount prior to her providing him proof of the third abortion. In court documents, Parker alleges that she has aborted a fetus conceived with the hockey player on two other occasions, and that Kane paid her $125,000 for the second procedure. Parker was unwilling to terminate the third pregnancy until Kane offered her $2 - $3 million dollars to have the procedure.
According to court documents filed on June 13, 2018, Parker sent Kane a text message of her lab results, which verified she had terminated the third pregnancy. When Parker requested Kane update her on the status of her promised payment, Kane told Parker he was not going to pay her. In addition to this lawsuit, Parker filed a case within Chapter 7, seeking to endure that if Kane is permitted to walk away from his debts, her debt would receive different treatment. Bankruptcy law doesn’t allow a debt to be waived if it is obtained under false pretenses. False pretenses concern past or present facts that are made with the intent to defraud another person. If Parker can prove that Kane promised her the money in exchange for having the procedure and never intended to pay her then she may be able to receive the money even if Kane’s other debts are forgiven. Parker is not the only person who has filed Chapter 7 as various lenders have filed their own proceedings against Kane.
Amid this current controversy, Kane has put his San Jose home up for sale. Kane and his estranged wife Anna purchased the home together in August 2020 for $3,030,000. As divorce looms for the couple, their house is on the market for $3,199,950. Kane declared bankruptcy in January, with reported gambling losses of $1.5 million. At the time of the filing, he had assets of $10.2 million and liabilities of over $26.8 million. The Sharks and the NHL have not released statements concerning the current legal battle.
Jessica Shaw is the Secretary of the New York Law School Sports Law Society. She can be reached on Twitter @JessicaShaw22.
Sources:  Kaplan, Daniel. “Judge Rules Sharks' Evander KANE Must Face Discovery in Abortion-for-Pay Lawsuit.” The Athletic, Aug. 24, 2021, theathletic.com/news/judge-rules-sharks-evander-kane-must-face-discovery-in-abortion-for-pay-lawsuit/6eUxPR75fBSZ.  Id.  Id.  Zap, Claudine. “Amid Controversy, Sharks STAR Evander Kane Selling $3.2M San Jose Home.” Real Estate News & Insights | Realtor.com®, Aug. 24, 2021, www.realtor.com/news/celebrity-real-estate/evander-kane-selling-san-jose-home/.  Id.