SPORTS

Ex-Habs great Guy Lafleur tells court he lost work following 2008 arrest

01/14/2015 04:54 EST | Updated 03/16/2015 05:59 EDT
MONTREAL - Former hockey great Guy Lafleur told his civil trial Wednesday he lost advertising and endorsement contracts following his 2008 arrest.

Lafleur is seeking $2.16 million in a civil suit against the Crown and Montreal police for what he calls financial losses, moral damages and suffering to his family.

He described the arrest as unjustified and exaggerated.

"I don't want other people to be put in the same situation as me," Lafleur told the court. "I don't want them or their families to live what I lived."

Lafleur was arrested in 2008 and found guilty in 2009 of giving contradictory testimony at his son's bail hearing. The conviction was overturned on appeal a year later.

He testified that at least two sponsorship and advertising contracts that helped make up his livelihood were cancelled because of the damage to his reputation.

Companies didn't want to work with him after he was arrested, Lafleur said.

"My name is my livelihood and they had just attacked my past, my present and my future," he testified.

A lawyer for the Montreal police countered that Lafleur has not established the contracts were annulled as a result of his legal woes, adding the economic downturn in 2008 was likely more responsible.

Jean-Pierre Rancourt, the lawyer who represented Lafleur during his criminal proceedings, testified Wednesday afternoon that he was "surprised" his client was the subject of an arrest warrant.

Rancourt said Lafleur's address was well-known and he was not a flight risk, and therefore should have been given an order to appear in court as opposed to arrested.

Testimony is scheduled to continue Thursday and legal proceedings are expected to last another two weeks.

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