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Musician Sues Ex-Girlfriend For Spiking His $50K Scholarship

Out of fear of losing her boyfriend, the girlfriend of Canada-based clarinet player Eric Abramovitz derailed his music career, impersonating him online to reject a full scholarship to a prestigious music conservatory in Los Angeles. After finding out years later, he successfully sued her for what a judge called “despicable interference.”

After a lengthy and competitive audition process for the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, Abramovitz was one of two students to receive the $50,000 scholarship, BuzzFeed News reported Thursday. It was a dream he had been working toward since he was 7 years old. Then 20, he was devastated when he was emailed a rejection letter.

“I was numb when I read the email. I had to read it a few more times,” Abramovitz, now 24, told BuzzFeed. “When I found out I didn’t get it, it was really hard to deal with. I went through some really dark, sad, angry days.”

At the time, Abramovitz was dating Jennifer Lee, also a serious musicians at McGill University. They had recently moved in together.

According to the lawsuit Abramovitz filed, when Lee found the acceptance email from Colburn’s clarinet master, Yehuda Gilad, in March 2014, she hacked into his email account and, posing as her boyfriend, rejected the offer with the excuse that he “would be elsewhere.” Then she deleted the evidence, created another email and, acting as Gilad, wrote Abramovitz a rejection email.

They broke up six months later.

After graduation, Abramovitz traced the emails to Lee, pieced the story together and hired a lawyer.

On Wednesday, an Ontario Superior Court judge sided with Abramovitz, who had sued his ex-girlfriend for $300,000 in general damages, including for loss of reputation, loss of educational opportunity, and loss of two years of potential income. As a bonus, the judge tacked on an extra $50,000 “against Ms. Lee for her despicable interference in Mr. Abramovitz’s career.”

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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