Eric Abramovitz was an accomplished clarinet player studying music at the University of McGill in Montreal. Abramovitz applied to finish his degree at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. Wanting to study with a world renowned clarinet teacher, Yehuda Gilad. Abramovitz practiced for years trying to earn a scholarship to the prestigious school.
The scholarship, worth more than $50,000 per year included the tuition along with room and board. Graduates from Colburn play with some of the most prestigious orchestras in the world, straight out of the program. Only 2 students each year are selected to the program and these scholarships can make an entire career. Abramovitz was a winner until his then girlfriend intervened.
Abramovitz was actually the winner of the highly coveted scholarship, but he never actually got to read or even hear the good news. Back in 2014 when the email informing him that he had won the scholarship was intercepted by his then girlfriend Jennifer Lee. Lee deleted the email and managed to fake a rejection letter from the school. It would be a mistake that would end up costing Lee $350,000CAD.
When interviewed about the incident, Abramovitz said initially after receiving the rejection letter that “It was a disappointing feeling,” and that he had had high hopes for winning the scholarship. Abramovitz was justifiably devastated after discovering what Lee had done. He told on reporter that “It was really devastating to feel that incredible betrayal, and it made me think of our whole relationship and it made me feel like everything might have been a lie.”
The Court Case
Lee did more than just intercept an email, she contacted the school pretending to be Abramovitz to turn down the scholarship saying that he planned to “be elsewhere” during the school year. She deleted the original acceptance letter and created an email address for the teacher Yehuda Gilad to create a fake rejection letter.
The Canadian Court agreed that this was indeed a betrayal and awarded Abramovitz $350,000 CAD in damages which included loss of educational opportunity, loss of reputation, potential income and part of the settlement was added because of Lee’s “despicable interference”.
Lee and Abramovitz broke up shortly after the incident for different reasons. Abramovitz went on to complete is music degree at McGill University in Montreal. In wasn’t until 2016 that the whole email scandal was discovered by Abramovitz and he decided to pursue legal action.