NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
A Canadian judge ruled that Jennifer Jooyeon Lee of Ontario must now fork over $260,000 to her ex-boyfriend for ruining his life.
On June 13, an Ontario Superior Court judge found that Lee impersonated Eric Abramovitz by turning down an acceptance offer that would have landed him under the tutelage of a renowned clarinet teacher under a full two-year scholarship. She then deleted the emailed acceptance from his inbox.
Abramovitz wasn’t aware of what happened until two years later, and he took legal action.
Judge David Corbett called Lee’s actions a “reprehensible betrayal.”
Lee, who grew up in Ontario, and Abramovitz, a Quebec native, met in September 2013, while both were students at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music.
Abramovitz applied to study at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles in December 2013, hoping to complete the final two years of his bachelor’s degree there, and study under esteemed clarinet teacher Yehuda Gilad. Gilad accepts only two new students per year from the dozens who apply.
Abramovitz was accepted and offered a full scholarship to study with Gilad. Lee accessed her boyfriend’s email — he had trusted her with his laptop and his passwords — and deleted the acceptance email. But first she responded to it, in Abramovitz’s name, declining the offer.
Judge David Corbett, of Ontario Superior Court, wrote that it appears that Lee was motivated by her fear that Abramovitz would leave Montreal and their relationship.
Abramovitz and Lee broke up at some point, and he remained unaware of Lee’s deception.
The truth unraveled when Abramovitz headed to the University of Southern California (USC) for a two-year graduate certificate in performance at USC, where he did study with Gilad, and paid full tuition.
There, he was questioned about turning down the Colburn offer. Abramovitz also discovered that Lee similarly interfered with his acceptance to the Juilliard School in New York City.
“I accept and find that Mr. Abramovitz lost a unique and prestigious educational opportunity, one that would have advanced his career as a professional clarinetist,” Corbett wrote. He said imagining a different path for Abramovitz is difficult, “(b)ut the law does recognize that the loss of a chance is a very real and compensable loss.”