Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini denies child abuse allegations

Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini, through a spokesperson, denied allegations in court by his adult children that they were abused.

In a statement Gary Ross sent to Sportsnet, Aquilini “categorically” denied the allegations his ex-wife, Tali’ah, made in Vancouver family court on Tuesday.

According to a CBC News report, a BC Supreme Court judge heard allegations made by Aquilini’s four adult children that he physically and psychologically abused them when they were young.

The allegations were part of a hearing to determine whether Aquilini should renew his child support and pay college fees for three of his children, who are 20, 22 and 24 years old. The fourth child no longer needs support, the court heard.

The NHL informed Sportsnet through a spokesperson that it has been in contact with Aquilini and his lawyers about the allegations. “Mr. Aquilini has informed us that he categorically denies the allegations,” the NHL spokesman said. “We intend to continue to monitor the situation and will respond, if necessary, as we learn more as events unfold.”

Affidavits describing the abuse were presented to the court by each of the four children, but were not made public. The CBC News report quotes Tali’ah’s lawyer Claire Hunter as reading part of a letter allegedly sent to Francesco Aquilini by one of his children in court in March 2020. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

“Your relationship with us is a direct result of your treatment towards us, whether you acknowledge it or not. We all have many individual stories of your abuse towards us,” the letter reads.

“I would like to state formally that myself and my siblings… do not want any contact with you, nor do we want you to have access to our contact details, medical information, or other information about our lives.”

According to CBC News, Tali’ah Aquilini had provided Francesco Aquilini with receipts and other information that included university names and other personal information, allegedly at the request of her children. Francesco Aquilini’s attorney, Ken McEwan, told the court that his client needed more information about his children’s presence and numbers, as well as a justification for airline flights and a $48,000 computer.

“Mrs. Aquilini is disappointed that she had to go to court again to try to enforce Mr. Aquilini’s obligation to pay child support for their adult children enrolled in full-time university programs,” Hunter said in a statement to Sportsnet . “Each of the four children and Ms. Aquilini have filed affidavits in court, some of which were read at the hearing yesterday. Mr Aquilini has been in possession of all of the affidavits for many months and, as I said in court , he has not given any evidence that denies any evidence of that affidavit.”

The statement on behalf of Francesco Aquilini added: “The couple divorced and reached a settlement in 2013. Mr. Aquilini has met and will continue to meet all alimony obligations required by law, but he is concerned about the veracity of the information provided to support financial demands. It is unfortunate that baseless allegations are being put forward with collateral.”

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