About 4 Aspen Place . . .

A swift-mov­ing fire at a lux­ury house. An ar­son in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Law­suits swirling. A high-fly­ing owner. More than a year af­ter a blaze de­stroyed a man­sion on Lon­don’s south­west­ern out­skirts, smoul­der­ing ques­tions re­main. Randy Rich­mond and Dale Car­ruthers

The London Free Press - - FRONT PAGE - RANDY RICH­MOND DALE CAR­RUTHERS

Stag­nant wa­ter fills the pool in the back­yard of the burned-out, mil­lion-dol­lar home.

Rub­ble is strewn across the rest of the yard, piled up against the shell of walls. The place is a still-open wound in a land­scape of large homes and well-groomed es­tate lots in Lam­beth.

It does more than re­mind peo­ple of a fire that be­gan on a warm sum­mer night, Aug. 10, 2017, the wail­ing of sirens shat­ter­ing the quiet on Aspen Place.

Fire­fight­ers ar­rived about 10 p.m. and bat­tled to keep the blaze from spreading to neigh­bour­ing houses, but they couldn’t stop the in­ferno from gut­ting the 7,000-square-foot home in just 13 min­utes.

“This fire was ex­tremely fast-mov­ing and ag­gres­sive in na­ture and spread rapidly,” act­ing deputy fire chief Jack Burt re­calls.

Neigh­bours breathed a sigh of re­lief af­ter learn­ing that the young cou­ple who had re­cently moved into the home af­ter re­lo­cat­ing from Hal­i­fax had left for the movies min­utes be­fore the blaze broke out.

But not long af­ter, Lon­don po­lice opened an ar­son in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Neigh­bours be­gan to gos­sip.

Now, more than a year af­ter the fire, that wound con­tin­ues to fes­ter. It’s drawn the at­ten­tion of busi­ness lead­ers in Hal­i­fax and a mul­ti­mil­lion­aire soft­ware de­vel­oper in Texas. It’s led to a $7-mil­lion law­suit, to which an in­sur­ance com­pany raises al­le­ga­tions — which the burned-out home’s owner, Ryan Dubois, in turn, has de­nied — the fire was de­lib­er­ately set. And it has fo­cused at­ten­tion on Dubois, a high-liv­ing, some­what con­tro­ver­sial, yet pri­vacy-seek­ing Nova Sco­tia na­tive.

“I think the longer it’s gone with­out any­thing be­ing done to it (the house), the more and more ru­mour kind of spreads,” Dubois says, in the first in­ter­view he’s given since the fire.

Born and raised in Syd­ney, N.S., Dubois grad­u­ated from Cape Bre­ton Univer­sity in 2008 with a busi­ness de­gree and spe­cialty in law.

Dur­ing univer­sity, he and some partners de­vel­oped an on­line advertising busi­ness that be­gan a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in in­vest­ment, says Dubois, who won’t dis­close the name of that com­pany, cit­ing a non-dis­clo­sure agree­ment.

No one might have heard of Dubois had he not taken a step in the Hal­i­fax en­ter­tain­ment busi­ness in the spring of 2013.

He part­nered with lo­cally well-known Hal­i­fax restau­ra­teurs Geir Si­mensen, Joe McGuin­ness and Kyle Drake to open the Stub­born Goat Gas­tropub, a trendy eatery spe­cial­iz­ing in dishes made with lo­cally sourced in­gre­di­ents, craft brews and ex­ten­sive wine of­fer­ings.

The Stub­born Goat was an in­stant suc­cess when it launched in fall 2013, and Dubois and his partners were all smiles in pho­tos for sto­ries about the restau­rant.

But the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the partners and Dubois be­gan to frac­ture over the next cou­ple of years as fi­nan­cial stresses on the restau­rant grew, say sources fa­mil­iar with the part­ner­ship.

A hold­ing com­pany cre­ated by the four partners — 3271160 Nova Sco­tia Ltd. — still listed Dubois as a di­rec­tor in April 2015. But by July that year, Dubois was on the way out.

The hold­ing com­pany bought Dubois’ 100 shares to set­tle the “equiv­a­lent amount of debt owed by Dubois to the com­pany,” states a no­tice to the Nova Sco­tia reg­istry of joint stock com­pa­nies.

The “Dubois Debt,” as the doc­u­ment terms it, was es­ti­mated at $365,000.

Reached by The Lon­don Free Press, none of the re­main­ing three partners would com­ment on the breakup of the busi­ness re­la­tion­ship. All the partners signed a non-dis­clo­sure agree­ment.

But sev­eral sources from Nova Sco­tia say Dubois had been lead­ing a lav­ish lifestyle and ring­ing up ex­penses on trips to Cal­i­for­nia, Florida and Las Ve­gas.

Tyler Smith, who worked as the man­ager and chef at the Stub­born Goat at the time, said Dubois al­ways was flaunt­ing his wealth and big-spend­ing lifestyle.

“Just re­ally kind of an over-thetop, overzeal­ous hu­man be­ing,” Smith says.

By 2015, Dubois had left his long­time Hal­i­fax girl­friend and be­gan dat­ing Amer­i­can singer­song­writer, ac­tress and dancer Mon­tana Tucker. (His Hal­i­fax ex-girl­friend and Tucker de­clined to be in­ter­viewed for this story.)

In Jan­uary 2015, Dubois and Tucker posed for a photo at the One and Only Ocean Club Re­sort in Nas­sau, Ba­hamas, where ac­com­mo­da­tions start at more than $1,000 a night. In Fe­bru­ary, Dubois posted a photo of the two at the Grammy Awards in Los An­ge­les.

Dubois said he re­mains friendly with Tucker. The breakup of the Stub­born Goat part­ner­ship was clearly not am­i­ca­ble.

Hal­i­fax po­lice con­firmed they were con­tacted April 22, 2015, about a com­plaint about a pos­si­ble fraud at the Stub­born Goat.

“An in­ves­ti­ga­tion was ini­ti­ated. The file was closed with­out charges on June 9, 2015,” Hal­i­fax po­lice spokesper­son Const. John MacLeod wrote in an email.

Hal­i­fax po­lice said they could pro­vide no other de­tails, in­clud­ing if any­one was the tar­get of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Two of the partners left with the “Dubois debt” broke their si­lence on­line, and likely re­gret­ted it.

Joe McGuin­ness posted an on­line com­plaint about Dubois in April 2016, then quickly re­tracted on the same fo­rum and Dubois took no le­gal ac­tion.

Kyle Drake, who in­cluded Dubois in his wed­ding party, wasn’t so lucky. In Jan­uary 2017, Dubois sued Drake for li­bel.

Cit­ing the state­ment of claim filed in court, news site Al­lNo­vaS­co­tia.com re­ported the li­bel ac­tion was based on so­cial me­dia posts Drake made in fall 2016.

The state­ment of claim quoted by the news site said Drake posted defam­a­tory com­ments un­der an In­sta­gram photo of Dubois and his fi­ancee, Me­gan Woods.

The state­ment of claim also al­leged Drake was be­hind a defam­a­tory YouTube video about Dubois.

Drake apol­o­gized for his posts on so­cial me­dia but that wasn’t enough, the state­ment of claim says, ac­cord­ing to Al­lNo­vaS­co­tia. com

Drake filed a state­ment of de­fence in Fe­bru­ary 2017. In the state­ment, Drake main­tains he had a “le­git­i­mate so­cial or moral in­ter­est” in pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion about his busi­ness re­la­tion­ship with Dubois, and the de­tails of that re­la­tion­ship would be re­vealed dur­ing the case, ac­cord­ing to an Al­lNo­vaS­co­tia.com story.

That may never hap­pen. In Au­gust 2018, Dubois’ lawyer, David Coles, used a Nova Sco­tia court pro­ce­dure to put a lid on any­thing to do with the li­bel suit, in­clud­ing the state­ments of claim and de­fence al­ready re­leased and re­ported on ear­lier.

The judge also took the un­usual step of not send­ing a no­tice to the me­dia about the re­quest to seal the case

“It is a highly un­usual case,” said Jen­nifer Stairs, com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor of the Nova Sco­tia Ju­di­ciary.

A hear­ing is set for later this month to de­ter­mine next steps.

Coles de­clined to com­ment on the case.

“You can put this on the record,” Dubois says, “any dime I get from him (Drake) I will do­nate to the chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal there or some­thing.”

Can he ex­plain why he left Hal­i­fax ow­ing $365,000 to the Stub­born Goat? Dubois is asked.

“Not specif­i­cally, be­cause I can’t talk about that re­la­tion­ship or any­thing to do with that re­la­tion­ship other than to say all par­ties in­volved have gone their sep­a­rate ways and we have de­cided that ev­ery­body is good,” Dubois says.

It’s im­por­tant to deal with the al­le­ga­tions of fi­nan­cial mis­do­ings in court, and that’s why he’s su­ing Drake for li­bel, Dubois says.

If it’s im­por­tant to ex­pose the truth, then why seal the case?

Lawyers need to de­cide first what de­tails about the past busi­ness re­la­tion­ships can be dis­cussed in the li­bel suit be­fore mov­ing ahead, he says.

“There’s noth­ing I re­ally want sealed for now per se. It’s in or­der to move for­ward with the process.”

Asked about the spec­u­la­tion his lifestyle led to his debts, Dubois replies, “Al­le­ga­tions and ru­mours. Like I said, if there’s truth be­hind it, it will come out in court.”

There’s noth­ing wrong with spend­ing money, he adds.

“We love travel. We love ex­pen­sive things. At the end of the day, I don’t know what’s wrong with that.”

He’s lead­ing a quiet life in Lon­don, Dubois says.

“We’re very mod­est. I like nice things. I’m not do­ing it to be a show-off,” he says.

Yet, it seems wher­ever he goes, he draws a least a bit of un­wanted at­ten­tion.

In 2014, he char­tered a pri­vate jet to take him from Florida to Las Ve­gas for New Year’s Eve. An of­fi­cial with the Florida-based char­ter com­pany, Aura Jets, told The Free Press Dubois never paid for the $25,000 flight. Dubois says that’s be­cause the com­pany failed to get him to Las Ve­gas on time for New Year’s Eve cel­e­bra­tions, the whole point of not fly­ing com­mer­cially.

In 2016 and 2017, a per­son named “Dubois” be­came the sub­ject of on­line com­plaints over his sale of his ex­tra Amer­i­can Ex­press Cen­tu­rion cards, also known as the Amex Black Card. Dubois had of­fered his ex­tra cards for $2,500 each. The buyer would get all the perks and pres­tige of the cov­eted charge card. Dubois would rack up the points from pur­chases on the card.

Some peo­ple com­plain­ing on­line mixed him up with an­other card seller, Dubois said.

Sev­eral peo­ple com­plained on­line about the de­liv­ery and va­lid­ity of the card they re­ceived. In an in­ter­view, Dubois says he pro­vided ex­tra cards about eight to 10 times with­out com­plaint. There was noth­ing il­le­gal about it, but Amer­i­can Ex­press be­gan lim­it­ing the cards, he said.

In 2017, Dubois be­came em­broiled in a le­gal bat­tle with his land­lord over the rent and claims of mould and flood­ing in the 1,400-sq.-ft., two-storey, $2,400-a-month apart­ment he rented. Af­ter two rent tri­bunal and two small claims court bat­tles, Dubois was or­dered to pay ar­rears in rent to­talling $18,330 and va­cate the premises. But Dubois says he’s told his lawyer to keep fight­ing the case.

That same spring, his Lam­beth house burned down. He and Woods have moved to a large, two-storey brick home with a dou­ble garage and pool back­ing onto Green­hills Golf Club, just a kilo­me­tre away from the burned­out home.

It takes sev­eral weeks to pin down an in­ter­view time, but even­tu­ally Dubois in­vites The Free Press to his new home. He does not want his photo taken, how­ever.

They cou­ple paid $999,600 for their new house, prop­erty records show.

Dubois prefers not to give de­tails about how he makes his liv­ing, be­yond say­ing he’s into in­vest­ments, prop­erty man­age­ment and com­pany de­vel­op­ment.

On his LinkedIn pro­file, Dubois calls him­self co-founder of Tux Fi­nan­cial Cap­i­tal, es­tab­lished in 2016. He’s also listed as a di­rec­tor of Tux Fi­nan­cial Corp. on the reg­istry of fed­er­ally in­cor­po­rated com­pa­nies in Canada.

On Tux Fi­nan­cial Cap­i­tal’s web­site are listed sev­eral fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions since 2017. They in­clude the sale of Tux’s stake in Mi­ami-based lux­ury rental com­pany Ater Lux­ury for $2.3 mil­lion, its stock in Axis De­vel­op­ments for $4.1 mil­lion and its pur­chase of SXO Growth Fund for $3.1 mil­lion.

Dubois pro­vides few de­tails about the com­pa­nies Tux Fi­nan­cial Cap­i­tal pur­chased, and it’s dif­fi­cult to find fur­ther in­for­ma­tion about them.

“I don’t know what’s on the (web) site to be hon­est,” he says.

Ater Lux­ury? “I think their reg­is­tra­tion is in Florida,” Dubois says.

Ater Lux­ury Ltd. does not show up on the reg­is­ter of Florida state in­cor­po­rated com­pa­nies.

Axis De­vel­op­ments? “I’m hon­estly not sure. That could be the ho­tel con­struc­tion com­pany. I don’t know,” he says. “That would be . . . it’s in Cal­i­for­nia, I don’t know if it’s reg­is­tered in Cal­i­for­nia or Delaware.”

There are no ho­tel con­struc­tion com­pa­nies called Axis De­vel­op­ments on ei­ther Delaware or Cal­i­for­nia state cor­po­ra­tion lists.

Dubois said he wasn’t sure what SXO Growth did.

Af­ter fail­ing to find the com­pa­nies on cor­po­ra­tion searches in the U.S., The Free Press asked Dubois if he could pro­vide any more de­tails about the com­pa­nies bought and sold by Tux Fi­nan­cial Cap­i­tal. He did not re­turn texts or phone calls.

The Tux Fi­nan­cial Cap­i­tal web­site also in­cludes an an­nounce­ment about ac­quir­ing a 70 per cent stake in Tableau Fil­tered Wa­ter.

Dubois was listed as a di­rec­tor of a Tableau Hospi­tal­ity Inc., a Cana­dian com­pany, in 2017, but was no longer listed as a di­rec­tor in March 2018.

A cur­rent di­rec­tor would say only the com­pany and Dubois parted ways.

The Free Press reached out to two for­mer busi­ness partners of Dubois in Hal­i­fax. They did not re­turn phone calls.

Dubois of­ten has jug­gled sev­eral com­pa­nies at once, ac­cord­ing to Nova Sco­tia and fed­eral cor­po­ra­tion searches.

“Just dif­fer­ent busi­nesses and dif­fer­ent in­vest­ments,” Dubois says. “You run dif­fer­ent in­vest­ments through dif­fer­ent shells. It could be for tax rea­sons, it could be for li­a­bil­ity rea­sons. It’s all about what makes sense for that deal and that’s how you reg­is­ter it and struc­ture it.”

As long as he pays his taxes, it’s no­body’s busi­ness how he makes his money, Dubois says.

“I pay a for­tune in taxes. The amount of money I give to char­ity each year is more than those clowns in Hal­i­fax make.”

With the ar­ray of com­pa­nies has come an ar­ray of on­line do­main names Dubois has reg­is­tered over the years.

One do­main name — Soft­lay­er­cap­i­tal.com — has gar­nered con­tro­versy and brought Lon­don po­lice to a Texas mul­ti­mil­lion­aire.

SoftLayer Tech­nolo­gies Inc., was a suc­cess­ful com­pany hous­ing and man­ag­ing on­line in­for­ma­tion, and was sold to IBM in 2013 for an es­ti­mated $2 bil­lion.

For­mer as­so­ciates of Dubois say he claims to have made a lot of money by sell­ing his shares in that deal.

But the for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive, Lance Crosby, said no one by that name had any as­so­ci­a­tion with the com­pany.

“Mr. Dubois has zero as­so­ci­a­tion with my­self or SoftLayer.” Crosby wrote in an email to The Free Press.

“I have no idea who this per­son is or why he is try­ing to . . . as­so­ciate him­self with me. You are about the 5th per­son now to con­tact me, in­clud­ing the Lon­don po­lice. As the chair­man, CEO and founder of SoftLayer – I can as­sure you he has noth­ing to do with my for­mer com­pany.”

Asked about con­tact­ing Crosby, Lon­don po­lice said they could not com­ment on an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Dubois says he’s never claimed to have shares in SoftLayer Tech­nolo­gies Inc.

He did not dis­pute own­ing a do­main name, Soft­lay­er­cap­i­tal. com. He had a web ser­vice com­pany with cus­tomers that were con­nected to the SoftLayer Tech­nolo­gies main web­site hoster, and so he called that group the Softlayer group, Dubois says.

Of all the le­gal and on­line bat­tles Dubois has waged, none may be more chal­leng­ing than his lat­est — all cen­tred on 4 Aspen Place.

The house was listed in March 2017 for $1,149,000 with a video, still on­line, of the ex­pan­sive prop­erty and home. “Nes­tled amongst other pres­ti­gious res­i­dences, this charm­ing home is sided by greenspace and backs onto Ralph Ham­lyn Park,” the on­line list­ing said.

Dubois paid $1.13 mil­lion for 4 Aspen Place in June 2017, prop­erty records show.

Soon af­ter buy­ing it, Dubois posted an In­sta­gram photo of the house and sold sign. “Well this ones gonna be a lot of work. Gut­ting time,” he posted.

“I didn’t mean by fire,” he says, with a wry chuckle. “We were just ba­si­cally up­dat­ing the house. There were rooms that were go­ing to be gut­ted and re­done.”

The cou­ple were rip­ping off wall­pa­per, get­ting rid of old car­pets and hard­wood floor­ing, and putting in new au­to­ma­tion sys­tems, Dubois says.

There was wall­pa­per re­mover, clean­ing chem­i­cals in the kitchen and a paint gun plugged in, per­haps a saw as well, he says.

But there were no heaters in the area of the work, and the only can of gaso­line on the prop­erty was in the garage, for yard equip­ment, Dubois says.

Dubois says he doesn’t know why the house burned so quickly.

“It was a big wide open house and dried out and I had boxes ev­ery­where. I guess it’s no real sur­prise.”

He and Woods had gone out to a movie when alarm­ing texts from neigh­bours started com­ing to his phone. They rushed home.

“I re­mem­ber lit­tle de­tails now and then. But it’s al­most like, for lack of a bet­ter anal­ogy, you’re al­most black­out drunk. Then you start re­mem­ber­ing facts later on.”

He spoke to the fire mar­shal and po­lice, Dubois says. He con­tacted his in­sur­ance com­pany, then spent weeks mov­ing from ho­tel to ho­tel un­til he rented a place.

At some point, he real­ized things weren’t go­ing well with the in­sur­ance claim, and turned the mat­ter over to his lawyer, Dubois says.

In Jan­uary 2018, Dubois and Woods lawyer filed a $7-mil­lion law­suit against Heart­land Farm Mu­tual, al­leg­ing the in­surer failed to pay for dam­ages to their home and per­sonal prop­erty.

The com­pany acted in an “op­pres­sive and heavy-handed man­ner,” ac­cord­ing to their state­ment of claim, most re­cently amended in July 2018.

State­ments of claim, coun­ter­claims and state­ments of de­fence con­tain al­le­ga­tions not yet proven or re­jected in court.

Dubois and Woods are seek­ing $5 mil­lion for dam­ages to their dwelling and prop­erty, $1 mil­lion for breach of pol­icy, in­flic­tion of emo­tional and fi­nan­cial dis­tress and fail­ing to act in the their best in­ter­est, and an­other $1 mil­lion for breach of fidu­ciary duty and fail­ure to deal in good faith.

Dubois, listed as the house’s owner, and Woods, iden­ti­fied as his com­mon-law partner and an oc­cu­pant, sub­mit­ted an in­sur­ance claim that Heart­land de­nied in full, the law­suit al­leges.

“The de­fen­dant in­surer (Heart­land) has failed to pay for dam­ages to the premises in a timely man­ner caus­ing the plain­tiffs fi­nan­cial hard­ship and dis­tress,” the cou­ple’s law­suit says.

Heart­land ig­nored ev­i­dence sub­mit­ted by the cou­ple and pro­fes­sion­als hired by them to sub­stan­ti­ate their claims, in­stead re­ly­ing on ev­i­dence from the com­pany’s own agents to deny the claim, the state­ment al­leges.

“The in­surer has placed the emo­tional wel­fare of the plain­tiffs in jeop­ardy, caus­ing mental dis­tress to them and their fam­i­lies as a re­sult of the re­fusal to process a le­git­i­mate in­sur­ance claim. The de­fen­dant in­surer has be­haved in a harsh, vin­dic­tive, rep­re­hen­si­ble, op­pres­sive and high-handed man­ner.”

Heart­land has de­nied the al­le­ga­tions and launched a coun­ter­suit for $918,816 that it says it is owed for pay­ing off Dubois’ mort­gage af­ter the fire.

The fire hap­pened while the house was un­der con­struc­tion, Heart­land says in its de­fence, not­ing pol­icy cov­er­age ex­cludes dam­age re­sult­ing from ren­o­va­tions.

City records show there was no build­ing per­mit taken out on 4 Aspen Place at the time.

The two sides are at odds over when and how Dubois made claims for the prop­erty lost and the mort­gage pay­ments that were due af­ter the fire. Heart­land claims that Dubois would be el­i­gi­ble for the costs of re­pairs to 4 Aspen Place if he ac­tu­ally re­paired it within a rea­son­able time frame.

But the most in­ter­est­ing part of the coun­ter­claim — for the gen­eral pub­lic, es­pe­cially neigh­bours, and for peo­ple Dubois has an­gered over the years — is the al­le­ga­tion by Heart­land that the fire was de­lib­er­ately set.

“Heart­land pleads that the fire was in­ten­tion­ally set and orig­i­nated on the first floor of the premises. The fire was set with the use of ac­cel­er­ants to ac­cel­er­ate the pro­gres­sion of the fire and cause max­i­mum dam­age,” the law­suit against Dubois claims.

In his state­ment of de­fence to the coun­ter­claim, Dubois “de­nies ev­ery al­le­ga­tion in the coun­ter­claim.”

Dubois’ lawyer, An­drew Gra­ham, a partner at Har­ri­son Pensa, de­clined to speak to The Free Press about the law­suit, cit­ing the lit­i­ga­tion be­fore the courts.

Lon­don po­lice are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the fire, which is con­sid­ered sus­pi­cious, Const. San­dasha Bough said.

“There’s noth­ing else we can re­lease at this time,” Bough said.

Neigh­bours of 4 Aspen Place say the prop­erty has be­come an eye­sore and safety haz­ard. The half-full swim­ming pool was a breed­ing ground for mos­qui­toes dur­ing swel­ter­ing sum­mer months, they say.

Lon­don’s by­law boss says his of­fice is­sued an or­der to en­sure the prop­erty was safe af­ter the fire.

Since then, there have been two com­plaints, nei­ther of which re­sulted in the prop­erty owner tak­ing ac­tion, said Orest Ka­tolyk, the city’s head of by­law en­force­ment.

The city billed the prop­erty owner for yard­work af­ter an un­kempt prop­erty com­plaint was ig­nored, Ka­tolyk said.

“We have an out­stand­ing com­plaint on the un­kempt pool,” Ka­tolyk added.

Af­ter the mental an­guish he and Woods have gone through, Dubois says he can’t see any rea­son for any­one burn­ing their own house down.

It makes no fi­nan­cial sense to burn down a 7,000-sq.-ft. house for $1.1 mil­lion in in­sur­ance, only to have to pay even more to re­build it, he says.

The con­tents in the house, jew­elry, art­work and Bit­coin, “greatly ex­ceeded” the in­sured value, Dubois adds.

He says he wasn’t sur­prised to learn that peo­ple in Hal­i­fax no­ticed the fire and be­gan talk­ing to peo­ple in Lon­don.

“They will take any op­por­tu­nity they can to make me look bad. I can’t get into de­tails. They will come out in court.”

All the smoke around him is just that, Dubois says. He’s never been charged with any­thing, he’s never had Canada Revenue af­ter him for taxes, and if he burned down his own home, why would he move only a kilo­me­tre away? he says.

Dubois says he plans to start re­build­ing 4 Aspen Place soon, and prob­a­bly will give the house to his par­ents.

“I think when peo­ple see the house they say, ‘OK, why hasn’t it been re­built, or why hasn’t it at least been torn down?’ and then peo­ple think, ‘Oh, there must be a rea­son. Why hasn’t the in­sur­ance com­pany not paid for it? And it just kinds of spi­rals from there.”

Dubois is talk­ing about the fire, but he could be talk­ing as eas­ily about much of what he’s done, pub­lic and pri­vate, since univer­sity.

“Peo­ple are go­ing to think the worst,” he says. “They want to think the worst, they want a nice juicy story.”

We love travel. We love ex­pen­sive things. At the end of the day, I don’t know what’s wrong with that . . . Ryan Dubois

MIKE HENSEN/THE LON­DON FREE PRESS

This is how 4 Aspen Place in Lam­beth looks this week. The house was hit by a fast-mov­ing fire in Au­gust 2017 that caused more than $1 mil­lion in dam­ages.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF OWEN REED

Flames en­gulf a home at 4 Aspen Place on Aug. 10, 2017. Po­lice ruled the fire sus­pi­cious and are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing more than a year later.

IN­STA­GRAM

Mon­tana singer/dancerU.S.Ryan Dubois and Awards to­gether. 2015 GrammyTucker en­joy the

IN­STA­GRAM

Ryan Dubois and Tucker are seen at the One and Only Ocean Club in Nas­sau, Ba­hamas, where rooms start at $1,000 a night.

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