The hopes and dreams of a promising young Canadian musician were dashed in 2014 after receiving a rejection letter from a prestigious music school. Eric Abramovitz, a college sophomore, had applied to a two-year program at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. But the email he received which notified him of the rejection came from his now ex-girlfriend. She has since been ordered to pay him in excess of $265,000 in damages (over $350,000 in Canadian dollars).
According to CNN, Jennifer Lee apparently feared that she would lose Abramovitz if he went to study in California and took steps to thwart his efforts. Lee first declined Colburn’s offer of admission and then deleted the acceptance letter from his inbox.
The young woman then created a fake email address and pretended to be the music instructor at the University of Southern California, Yehuda Gilad. Lee impersonated Gilad and offered Abramovitz a spot at USC and a $5,000 scholarship. With tuition and fees exceeding $50,000 at USC, Lee likely knew that her then-boyfriend would not be able to afford to attend and would reject the fictitious offer.
Abramovitz did decline the USC and opted to remain at McGill University in Montreal. Ironically, the couple split a few months later without the young man ever knowing what Lee had done to keep him in Canada. After completing his undergraduate studies, Abramovitz decided to apply to a graduate program at USC. At the audition, the musician came face-to-face with Gilad and the two made a shocking discovery.
Gilad thought that Abramovitz had turned down the offer and the young man shared his belief that Gilad had personally rejected him. Prodded by his friends to do a bit of research, Abramovitz discovered that Lee had robbed him of a scholarship worth $50,000 per year and potentially significant future earnings. He was shocked that he could be betrayed by someone he trusted.
“It was scary to even confront that thought given how much I trusted her, but over time it started to sink in and I became more and more suspicious that maybe she had done it, as unpleasant as it was to imagine,” Abramovitz told CNN.
Abramovitz filed a lawsuit against Lee seeking damages. She failed to respond to the suit so the young man was awarded a default judgment of over $265,000. In spite of Lee’s underhanded deeds, Abramovitz has moved on with positions in the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He also has a new girlfriend. Abramovitz claims to have no hard feelings for Lee and has learned a lesson about judging character in the process.
“We are coming up on two years soon and it is a really healthy relationship with trust and honesty,” Abramovitz said. “I’d like to think my judgment of character has improved a little bit.”