MCCAIN HEIRESS CAN’T DELAY ANNULMENT TO RELEASE ALBUM.
McCAIN CAN’T HAVE PROCEEDINGS PUT OFF SO SHE CAN RELEASE AN ALBUM, JUDGE SAYS
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.
Eleanor McCain has been criticized by an Ontario judge for not prioritizing what’s been an acrimonious split.