Teenagers can be really weird — especially teenagers in love. Never does it strike them that all of this is probably going to end in a few months. It’s something that maybe Jennifer Lee should have considered, along with the most basic of human decency, when she faked a rejection letter to her musician boyfriend from a prestigious full music scholarship to Colburn University in Los Angeles in order to keep him from leaving their relationship.
Some background — Eric Abramovitz was a college sophomore who was an acclaimed clarinetist in his home of Canada who, after working hard, earned a full scholarship to the prestigious Colburn University. However, before he could open the e-mail, it was intercepted by Lee who ended up sending him a fake rejection letter. Abramovitz talked to Buzzfeed and said:
“I was numb when I read the email. I had to read it a few more times. When I found out I didn’t get it, it was really hard to deal with. I went through some really dark, sad, angry days.”
When the relationship ended six months later, Abramovitz eventually ended up auditioning for Colburn and the man who he thought rejected him, Yehuda Gilad. Gilad asked him why he rejected his offer all those years ago. At first, it seemed like a strange misunderstanding, but as more and more people asked Abramovitz why he rejected the offer, Abramovitz sent Gilad the fake rejection letter for him, and Gilad confirmed he was not the person who sent it.
“We went into a room to chat after I finished and he asked me what I was doing here,” Abramovitz said. “He was like, ‘You rejected me. Why are you here? I was like, ‘Uh, no, you rejected me. No, you did,’ and we had this awkward exchange where we kept going back and forth like that and I thought maybe he had confused me with someone else.”
Abramovitz realized soon that the e-mail was indeed written by someone else, and while, at first, he thought it was a rival clarinetist, a friend suggested it might have been Lee. Using some rudimentary detective work (trying out a variety of her then preferred passwords to see if any of them fit to log into the fake e-mail), he was crushed to find out, indeed, Lee was the one who rejected him from a scholarship that could have defined and made concrete his future.
Abramovitz ended up suing her as Lee ignored any and all attempts from legal teams to make contact — something which very much hurt her case. An Ontario Superior Court judge took Abramovitz’s side, awarding him the $300,000 he sued Lee for, and also awarded an extra $50,000 for interfering in Abramovitz’s career in a “despicable” way.
Abramovitz discussed the incident in an interview with AM to DM.
"I just can't believe that someone can not have an overwhelming amount of guilt, lying to someone, betraying someone like that." Clarinetist Eric Abramovitz's girlfriend consoled him after crushing his dreams pic.twitter.com/ryuDOTPIdV
— AM2DM by BuzzFeed News (@AM2DM) June 15, 2018
Currently, Abramovitz is getting ready to play in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra playing associate principal clarinet and E flat clarinet and is excited he got to land on his feet. He’s also excited he got to train with his hero in the end. But, folks. If there’s a lesson to all of this — if you love someone let them leave if they want to. And, also… let your man play his clarinet on a scholarship! What are you doing?
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