A Canadian music student has received 350,000 Canadian dollars ($265,524) in damages after his ex-girlfriend used his email to turn down a scholarship in an effort to keep him from moving far away.
Eric Abramovitz’s former girlfriend Jennifer Lee sent an email posing as her boyfriend and refused a prestigious scholarship to the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles in 2014.
The claim for damages was awarded to the 24-year-old clarinetist for Lee’s “despicable interference in Mr. Abramovitz’s career,” Ontario Superior Court judge David L. Corbett ruled on Wednesday.
In 2014, Abramovitz applied for a two-year scholarship at Colburn and traveled to Los Angeles to auditioned for Yehuda Gilad, one of the best clarinet teachers in the world, according to Montreal Gazette.
He was successful, but he never received the email of acceptance.
It turned out that the email was deleted by Lee, a flute student who attended McGill University with Abramovitz in Montreal.
She replied to the conservatory in an email, using Abramovitz’s name, saying he could not accept the offer as he would “be elsewhere.”
Lee then set up an email account pretending to be Gilad under [email protected], telling Abramovitz that he had not been successful.
But she overfed the musician a spot to study at the University of Southern California with a scholarship of $5,000 Canadian dollars ($3,793) a year, which was not enough to cover the university’s tuition.
Abramovitz said Lee knew he would turn down the offer because he could not afford it. She was afraid he would move away and end their relationship, which began in September 2013.
The two year in scholarship was worth 50,000 Canadian dollars ($37,932) a year.
Abramovitz started suspecting that something was amiss when he auditioned for Gilad a second time.
Gilad asked the student why he rejected the original offer.
One of Abramovitz’s friends suggested that Lee, who had already broken up with him, could be responsible.
In May 2016, he and tried to log in to the email account that sent the fake rejection letter.
Abramovitz remembered an old password Lee used for Facebook, “and sure enough, we got right in,” he told the Washington Post.
The ex-girlfriend’s contact information was discovered in the account and the only email exchange in the inbox was the rejection letter that Abramovitz received.
“It was not only a stab in the back but in the heart,” Abramovitz was quoted as saying.
In a sworn affidavit, Gilad wrote:
“I am certain that had Eric not been robbed of his opportunity to study with me two years earlier, he could already have won an audition and been commanding this respectable salary two years earlier.
“I am very frustrated that a highly talented musician like Eric was the victim of such an unthinkable, immoral act that delayed his progress and advancement as an up-and-coming young musician and delayed his embarking on a most promising career.”
Lee never responded to the claim against her, never appeared in court to defend herself or offered a statement of defense, resulting in default.
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