A Canadian clarinet player who was awarded more than $265,000 in a lawsuit against his ex-girlfriend after she sabotaged his prestigious music scholarship is speaking out, calling her actions “the ultimate betrayal.”
Eric Abramovitz, a gifted clarinetist, got the chance of a lifetime in 2014 when he was accepted to a two-year scholarship program at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. The scholarship would have included tuition, room and board as well as money for food and expenses, and was worth about $50,000, according to the Montreal Gazette.
“I wanted it so badly,” Abramovitz, now 24, said during a recent interview with Today. “I was really thinking of it constantly.”
He had been hand-picked to study under famed clarinetist Yehuda Gilad, which would open many doors for Abramovitz in his career. But he never attended the program, thanks to his now-former girlfriend, Jennifer Lee.
Concerned that Abramovitz’s acceptance to the program would cause him to leave, Lee created a phony email and posed as her boyfriend to turn down the conservatory’s offer, according to court documents obtained by CNN. She even sent Abramovitz a fake rejection letter.
“I was numb when I read the email. I had to read it a few more times,” Abramovitz told BuzzFeed News. “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.
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He accepted the defeat, and remained at McGill University in Canada with Lee. However, two years later (after he had broken up with Lee), Abramovitz applied to a two-year extension program at the University of Southern California, where Gilad taught part-time, according to the Montreal Gazette.
There, he had an awkward exchange with the esteemed musician.
“He asked me, ‘What are you doing here? You rejected me,’ ” Abramovitz recalled to Today. “I was obviously very confused and I said, ‘With all due respect, I think you rejected me.’ ”
Abramovitz spent months trying to figure out what happened. Soon, his friends suggested that Lee may have had something to do with the mix-up.
“It was a very ugly thought to even think,” he said. But Abramovitz found Lee’s phony email account and learned the truth. “Confirmation of the ultimate betrayal,” he told Today.
The judge last week called the situation “despicable” as he granted Abramovitz $350,000 Canadian dollars (more than $265,000 USD) in damages, according to NPR.
Abramovitz is now a member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Today said.
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