Kyle Beach came forward on Wednesday during an interview with TSN’s Rick Westhead to reveal he is the “John Doe” who filed a lawsuit against the Blackhawks in May 2021. The filing alleges the Blackhawks ignored and covered up his disclosure of then-video coach Brad Aldrich’s sexual assault of him in 2010.
The Blackhawks on Tuesday released to the public a detailed 107-page document following a four-month independent investigation that described the incidents that occurred in 2010, and the lack of an investigation by the Blackhawks organization at that time. It also announced that anyone directly involved was no longer with the team. Only general manager Stan Bowman — who “stepped aside” on Tuesday — and hockey operations senior vice president Al MacIsaac were still with the club.
They were among seven men who were part of a May 23, 2010 meeting that discussed the allegations. The allegations were not reported to human resources until June 14, 2010, a few days after the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. Aldrich was allowed to resign.
“Yesterday was a day of many emotions. I cried, I smiled, I laughed, I cried some. … I don’t think that I or we could have imagined what would have come out of yesterday’s press conference,” he said at the start of the emotional 27-minute interview. “Following it, just a great feeling of relief and vindication, and it was no longer my word against everybody else’s. … It was very special and important to me to have that truth come out yesterday.”
He said later, “I’m just so relieved with the news that came out yesterday, that I’ve been vindicated, and I can truly begin the healing process.”
The unredacted report provided identifiable information on “John Doe,” including his age and status as a Black Ace. It also cited an interview with John McDonough (who was then the team president) noting “John Doe’s” stature.
“For me, I wanted to come forward and put my name on this,” Beach told Westhead. “To be honest, it’s already out there. The details were pretty accurate in the report, and it’s been figured out. More than that, I’ve been a survivor, I am a survivor. And I know I’m not alone.”
Beach, a 20-year-old prospect in 2010, was drafted 11th overall by the Blackhawks in 2008. He joined Rockford (American Hockey League) at the latter stages of the 2009-10 season after playing juniors for Spokane (Western Hockey League). He played four regular-season games before scoring three goals in four playoff games with Rockford. On April 28, 2010, the Blackhawks called him up as a “Black Ace” — a player brought up during the postseason to practice with the team and be ready to play in the case of an injury, suspension, or any other reason a rostered player cannot play.
“It was an extremely special moment for me and for my family, and, you know, kind of the next step in pursuing my NHL dream that I dreamed about and worked about work for my entire life,” he said regarding the call-up. “So, unfortunately, a couple of weeks after those memories were tainted, and my life was changed forever.”
Blackhawks timeline of ‘John Doe’ sexual assault scandal
Content warning: This story contains details about alleged sexual assault.
Per the report, video coach Brad Aldrich on May 8 or 9 invited Beach over during the Blackhawks' second round of the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs, telling him “he had the power to get John Doe onto the Blackhawks' roster” before turning on pornography. Beach said during his interview for the report that “Aldrich threatened John Doe by telling John Doe he needed to act like he enjoyed the sexual encounter or John Doe would never play in the NHL ‘or walk’ again.” He then forcibly performed sexual acts before threatening him again.
Aldrich described the encounter as consensual.
“I was scared mostly. I was fearful. I had my career threatened. I felt alone and dark,” Beach said. “I felt like I was alone and there was nothing I could do and nobody I could turn to for help. And I didn’t know what to do as a 20-year-old.”
During the interview on TSN, Beach confirmed he told skills coach Paul Vincent in San Jose (the Blackhawks played the Sharks in the Western Conference finals). He told his family that summer and they did not discuss it again until very recently.
“I did what I thought I had to do to survive, to continue chasing my dream and it was to not think about it, to not talk about it, ignore it and that’s all I could do,” he said. “I was threatened and my career was on the line. And if I had that in my head, there was no way I was gonna perform at the top of my capabilities.”
Beach spent the parts of four more seasons with Rockford before multiple stints in Europe, 39 games with the Rangers AHL affiliate in 2013-14 and seven ECHL games with the Missouri Mavericks. He never played for the Blackhawks and today plays pro hockey in Germany.
“Whether it’s in hockey, soccer, any sport, any business, any company, there needs to be a system in place that it gets dealt with,” he said. “And that it’s somebody making the decision to deal with it, that has no skin in the game. Because if this had been reported to someone other than John McDonough, or Joel Quenneville or Stan Bowman that didn’t have skin in the game of winning a Stanley Cup, it would have been dealt with and would have protected all of the survivors that came after me.”
Joel Quenneville’s role in Blackhawks scandal
Beach told TSN there was no way former Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville — who led the team from 2008-19 and denied knowledge over the summer — couldn’t have known about the allegations against Aldrich.
“Stan Bowman has quoted Joel Quenneville saying — and this is not a quote, this is my words — saying that the playoffs, the Stanley Cup playoffs and trying to win a Stanley Cup was more important than sexual assault. And I can’t believe that. As a human being, I cannot believe that, and I cannot accept that.
“I’ve witnessed meetings, right after I reported it to (former team mental skills coach) James Gary, that were held in Joel Quenneville’s office. There’s absolutely no way that he can deny knowing it and there’s absolutely no way that Stan Bowman would make up a quote like that, to somebody who served his organization and his team so well.”
Per the report, during a May 23, 2010, meeting prior to the Stanley Cup Final, Quenneville “appeared angry and was concerned about upsetting team chemistry.”
Quenneville is currently the Panthers' coach and will meet with commissioner Gary Bettman in New York on Thursday. He coached the Panthers on Wednesday night against the Bruins.
Beach also said that players knew:
“Word spread pretty quick. I do believe that everyone in that locker room knew about it because the comments were made in the locker room, they were made on the ice, they were made around the arena with all different people of all different backgrounds — players, staff, media in the presence.”