Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Canucks owner's estranged children say he beat and mentally tortured them, court hears CBC News

A B.C. Supreme Court judge heard Tuesday that four adult children of Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini have alleged that he physically and mentally abused them when they were young.

The disturbing allegations surfaced during a hearing on whether Aquilini was obliged to continue paying child support for her three children and to cover university expenses. They include the claim that he beat up a sleeping child and threw a five-year-old child in a bedroom.

The court heard that Aquilini denied the allegations of misconduct.

Tuesday’s hearing relates to an application by his ex-wife, psychiatrist Taliah Aquilini, seeking an injunction that the three youngest are “children of marriage” in accordance with the settlement agreement.

This would force Francesco Aquilini to continue supporting his children, even if his ex-wife was turning up the university names and other personal information in receipts submitted for reimbursement. She says that she made these changes at the request of the children.

Talia Aquilini’s attorney, Claire Hunter, on behalf of the three younger siblings, the eldest Aquilini sister, reportedly read parts of a letter she sent to her father in March 2020, explaining why they were leaving their personal details. want to stop.

He wrote, “Your relationship with us is a direct result of your behavior towards us, whether you want to admit it or not. We all have many personal accounts of your misbehavior towards us.”

“I want to formally state that I and my siblings … do not wish to have any contact with you, nor do we want you to have access to any of our contacts, medical information or other information about our lives. can.”

Taliah Aquilini speaks to reporters outside the BC Supreme Court on September 27, 2022.
Taliah Aquilini speaks to reporters outside the BC Supreme Court on September 27, 2022. (Murray Titus/CBC)

The eldest brother is already considered an adult and does not need his father’s support, the court heard.

Although Hunter said Francesco Aquilini denied the allegations of abuse, his attorney, Ken McEwan, did not address him in court, except that they are “irrelevant” to the case. He said the only question is whether his client has enough information to decide whether there is a legal obligation to continue supporting children.

McEwan said Francesco Aquilini would consent to keep the uncertified receipts provided without seeing his legal counsel himself.

“Modification of personal information is really a side issue for cases like this, are children in the appropriate programs for them?” McEwan told the court.

He said they needed to be able to see more information about children’s education, including regularly attending class and passing or failing, as well as student accommodations, unexplained from class. Justification for things like brakes, airline flights, and a $48,000 computer.

A statement issued by Aquilini, previously Vancouver Sun. published bysaid he is “outraged” by his ex-wife’s allegations in family court and that he categorically denies mistreating their children.

“The couple divorced and reached a settlement in 2013. Mr. Aquilini has and will continue to fulfill any child support obligations required by law, but he has concerns about the veracity of the information provided in support of the financial demands. ,” says the statement.

“It is unfortunate that the charges without merit have been brought forward for the purpose of bail. At this stage they will have nothing more to say as the matter is before the courts.”

Aquilinis’ highly controversial divorce was settled out of court in 2013, just before a trial could begin. The agreement gave Talia Aquilini sole custody and guardianship of her children.

Hunter said the four children have had little contact with their father since the divorce.

Children’s affidavits describing alleged abuse

The three young children are now aged 20, 22 and 24, the court heard. Is attending a graduate program abroad. One is studying mechanical engineering and the third is in medical school.

Hunter said each child has disclosed physical and psychological abuse to their mother, although many of the specifics were not disclosed until after the separation.

Each child has submitted an affidavit in the court alleging misbehavior. As is common in family law, the court file is sealed from public access, but Hunter read the excerpts for the court.

Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini, shown here in a file photo, has been divorced from Talia Aquillini since 2013. (Jeff Winnick/Getty Images/File)

One child recounts an incident in which he says that his father started beating him while he was sleeping and continued to beat him till he woke up. Another was remembered being punched in the stomach by Francesco Aquilini.

In the longest passage read by Hunter for the court, a child describes his father being angry with the children because they were speaking too loudly in the family rec room.

“Defendant [Francesco Aquilini] Then all of us were forced upstairs in our respective rooms, went to each room and physically abused each child. I observed that the defendant threw another child – then five years old – across the room,” the affidavit said.

“I locked myself in my bathroom. The respondent broke the lock and threw his body on the door and beat me to come inside. I called the claimant. [Tali’ah Aquilini] and told him to hurry home, saying that I feared the defendant would kill me, and I was worried that he had already killed my younger siblings.”

Both sides agree that Francesco Aquilini has paid its necessary support by August 2022.

However, Hunter said those payments have at times required court intervention, and Francesco Aquilini now owes $140,000 in additional university expenses.

McEwan, on the other hand, suggests that her client is owed nothing and that she has actually overpaid child support.

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