MCCAIN HEIRESS CAN’T DE­LAY AN­NUL­MENT TO RE­LEASE AL­BUM.

McCAIN CAN’T HAVE PRO­CEED­INGS PUT OFF SO SHE CAN RE­LEASE AN AL­BUM, JUDGE SAYS

National Post (National Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - VIC­TOR FER­REIRA Na­tional Post vfer­reira@post­media.com Twit­ter: VicF77

AMcCain Foods heiress’ at­tempt to have her mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar an­nul­ment case de­layed be­cause she’s too busy re­leas­ing her new record has been re­jected by an On­tario judge, who called her ef­fort “vin­dic­tive, time con­sum­ing and costly.”

In a de­ci­sion re­leased last week, Justice Carolyn Horkins crit­i­cized Eleanor McCain for not pri­or­i­tiz­ing what has been an ac­ri­mo­nious split from her es­tranged hus­band, Jeff Me­lan­son, whom McCain has ac­cused of trick­ing her into mar­riage.

“She has done very lit­tle to move her ap­pli­ca­tion ahead,” Horkins wrote.

McCain filed a mo­tion in March to have the dates for ques­tion­ing — where the par­ties an­swer ques­tions from op­pos­ing lawyers on the record — de­layed un­til Septem­ber.

Con­tin­u­ing the case would also have an ad­verse ef­fect on her health, she ar­gued, dis­clos­ing that she’s been di­ag­nosed with chronic fa­tigue syn­drome and has been tak­ing in­jec­tions. Pa­tients with the dis­or­der — char­ac­ter­ized by ex­treme and un­ex­plained lev­els of fa­tigue that can’t be treated with rest — are of­ten treated with vi­ta­min B12 in­jec­tions. In an af­fi­davit, her doc­tor ad­vised the court that McCain should avoid the si­mul­ta­ne­ous stress of the al­bum re­lease and the court bat­tle.

But Horkins de­nied McCain’s re­quest, ar­gu­ing that she had never brought up such con­cerns be­fore now.

“If (McCain) must lessen her ex­po­sure to stress and if she can­not con­tinue to man­age the project and her ap­pli­ca­tion, then it is time for her to pri­or­i­tize the ap­pli­ca­tion she com­menced,” Horkins wrote.

In an ap­peal filed on Mon­day, McCain’s lawyers dis­agreed be­cause the al­bum is tied to Canada’s 150th an­niver­sary, which will be cel­e­brated on July 1, and can­not be de­layed.

McCain’s work on True North: A Cana­dian Song­book is ex­ten­sive, her lawyers wrote in the ap­peal, and has re­quired her to over­see the pro­duc­tion, mar­ket­ing and distri­bu­tion. She has signed more than 1,000 con­tracts for the project, which also in­cludes a 220-page book and a be­hind-the-scenes doc­u­men­tary, and is man­ag­ing a team of more than 25 peo­ple on a daily ba­sis.

Her sched­ule, her lawyers wrote, is stuffed un­til July 1 and she won’t be able to prop­erly pre­pare for ques­tion­ing, slated for May 3 and 4. In April, McCain has mul­ti­ple meet­ings fo­cus­ing on PR, sales and mar­ket­ing, and event planning. She is also sched­uled to at­tend the Juno Awards and travel to Win­nipeg for a gala.

While the court files made no men­tion of events planned on the same day as ques­tion­ing, McCain will be per­form­ing a con­cert on May 6, at­tend­ing a gala on May 9 and then em­bark­ing on a na­tion­wide me­dia tour. Her al­bum, which will cover 32 of Canada’s great­est hits, is sched­uled to be re­leased on May 12.

Af­ter McCain filed for an an­nul­ment to end her ninemonth mar­riage to Me­lan­son, the arts mogul called her an “ama­teur” singer who uses her ex­or­bi­tant wealth to buy her­self new op­por­tu­ni­ties.

In his court re­sponse, Me­lan­son al­leged that McCain, who had a net worth of $365 mil­lion in 2015, schemed about mak­ing cash do­na­tions to an orches­tra on the con­di­tion some of the money was used to hire her. In a sim­i­lar al­leged plot, Me­lan­son said McCain of­fered sig­nif­i­cant cash do­na­tions to a gala if it agreed to buy hun­dreds of her al­bums and hand them out to guests in at­ten­dance to boost her sales.

“In re­al­ity, Eleanor does not have an artis­tic ca­reer, but rather buys op­por­tu­ni­ties for her­self and loses money on her ‘artis­tic en­deav­ours’,” he wrote.

The judge said the case is time sen­si­tive be­cause Me­lan­son, the for­mer CEO of the Toronto Sym­phony Orches­tra, is still un­em­ployed. Me­lan­son has ar­gued in the past that the me­dia at­ten­tion he gained from the on­go­ing court bat­tle has pre­vented him from find­ing a new job.

He is seek­ing the ful­fil­ment of the $5-mil­lion mar­riage con­tract he signed.

In her de­ci­sion, Horkins also or­dered that a set­tle­ment con­fer­ence take place by June 23, with the ex­pec­ta­tion that the case’s fi­nal hear­ing be com­pleted be­fore the end of 2017.

SHE HAS DONE VERY LIT­TLE TO MOVE HER AP­PLI­CA­TION AHEAD.

PETER J. THOMP­SON FOR NA­TIONAL POST FILES

Eleanor McCain has been crit­i­cized by an On­tario judge for not pri­or­i­tiz­ing what’s been an ac­ri­mo­nious split.

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