Melinda Karlsson, the wife of Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson, is accusing the longtime girlfriend of one of her husband’s teammates of launching a months-long cyberbullying attack that continued in the weeks following the death of the couple’s unborn son, Axel, on March 19.
On May 4, Karlsson filed an application for a peace bond to an Ottawa, Canada, court, alleging that Monika Caryk — fiancée of Senators forward Mike Hoffman — had sent her hundreds of messages over social media using fake accounts (also known as burner accounts) in order to harass her and her husband since November 2017.
Some of the comments even expressed hope that the couple’s son would die, and that Erik would experience a serious injury so he could no longer play, the Ottawa Citizen first reported. Hoffman has denied the allegations on behalf of himself and his fiancée.
“Monika Caryk has uttered numerous statements wishing my unborn child dead. She also uttered that she wished I was dead and that someone should ‘take out’ my husband’s legs to ‘end his career,” Karlsson reportedly wrote in the application for a peace bond, which requires a person to be on good behavior during a period of time, and refrain from any criminal offenses. “Monika Caryk has posted over 1000 negative and derogatory statement[s] about me as a professional.”
The couple claim the harassment continued after baby Axel died just weeks before his due date in mid-April. After the couple announced the heartbreaking news, Erik, 28, took to Instagram to thank fans and the hockey community for the support they received after the tragedy. While the post was filled with well-wishers, one negative comment, posted by Instagram user @sandydandy45, stood out.
“I feel bad for the baby he didn’t have a chance with Melinda popping pain killer medication everyday,” read the comment, according to the Ottawa Citizen.
The nasty message from the now-deactivated account prompted Erik to respond.
“How dare you,” he wrote back. “You have been making fake accounts and buying hacked ones for months to harass me and my wife but this is an all new low even for you. You are a disgusting person.”
Hoffman denied the allegations on behalf of Caryk to the Ottawa Citizen.
“There is a 150 per cent chance that my fiancée Monika and I are not involved in any of the accusations that have been pursued (that are) coming our way,” he said.
“Obviously this is a tough time that they’re going through, and we want to find out who is doing this, because for some reason it’s coming into our court, and it’’ 150 per cent that it’s not us,” Hoffman also said. “We have nothing to hide. We’re willing to cooperate in any way to solve this and figure it out, and prove that it wasn’t us.”
With the news that Karlssons are now taking legal steps to defend themselves, the partners of other hockey players are coming out to support them.
Kodette LaBarbera, the wife of 11-year NHL vet Jason LaBarbera, said Caryk always had a “fixation” with Karlsson.
Marlee Hammond, who is married to ex-Senator Andrew Hammond, said Caryk tried to keep the situation private until they intensified.
“Oh man if you only knew how unsurprising this actually is,” she wrote on Twitter. “Horrible just horrible. and the worst part of all of this is how @MelindaCurrey just wanted to keep this private because she’s THAT nice of a person even when a person can be this cruel to her.”
The Ottawa Citizen also says detectives are investigating stalking allegations against Caryk as well.
In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, the Senators say they are working with the NHL in an investigation into the matter.
- Want to keep up with the latest from PEOPLE? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get our best stories of the day delivered straight to your inbox.
“We are investing this matter in cooperation with the NHL and will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the safety and privacy of our players and their families,” the statement reads.
The Senators ended their season with the second-worst record in the eastern conference, and both Erik and Hoffman have been part of trade rumors. Hoffman’s agent, Robert Hooper, told the Ottawa Citizen they are very aware that a trade might be necessary.
“What we’ve indicated to [Senators General Manager Pierre Dorian] is that, and let’s call a spade a spade, it would be very difficult for both parties — both Erik and Mike as well as the wives and the fiancées — to co-exist in the same wives’ room and the same dressing room,” Hooper said.