Olympic showjumping rider, Eric Lamaze, has reacted after court ruled he faked his cancer. In his reaction to thestar.com he says he 'made a little mistake' by presenting a forged medical document to an Ontario court as a part of an attempt to delay a lawsuit.
But he insists he did in fact have cancer as the document claimed and says he’s hurt by the public’s “mission” to find evidence against him.
“You’ll never find it, because I did have cancer,” he said in a phone interview from his home in Brussels. Still, he says, “was I deceitful here and there to protect some doctors and protect this and that?
Olympian Faces Multiple Other Lawsuits
Lamaze is facing multiple lawsuits filed by former business associates in Florida, including two involving multimillion-dollar investments that were filed in the weeks after he announced Jan. 10 that he would not return as chef d’equipe of the Canadian show jumping team.
The suits include the Nikka suit, filed Jan. 17, and two other suits filed by Robert Chad, the father of Lamaze’s longtime former students Bretton and Kara Chad.
The Chads filed a lawsuit Jan. 30 involving Torrey Pines South, Lamaze’s former Wellington, Florida, stables. Robert Chad purchased the facility with Lamaze and another investor for $8.25 million in 2015, and he alleges he bought Lamaze out of his share in October 2020. However, after receiving payment, Lamaze has refused to turn over bookkeeping records, documents related to the funding and purchase of the property, account for roughly $1 million missing, and sign other paperwork necessary to finalize their business transaction, that lawsuit alleges. The suit asks the court to force Lamaze to do so.
Both Nikka and Torrey Pines South were purchased in 2021 by limited liability companies owned by Lamaze’s clients Mark and Tara Rein—Nikka for almost $2.8 million, according to the suit filed by Guthrie and Brandmaier, and the 4-acre Wellington farm for $8.97 million according to Palm Beach County property records.
A second suit, filed April 3 by the Chad family through their Stone Ridge Farms, LLC, accuses Lamaze of misrepresenting a horse he sourced for the family and, in violation of Florida law, failing to disclose he was working as an agent for the seller as well to pocket a hidden and hefty commission “amounting to as much as half” of the 625,000 euros the Chads paid. The horse’s performance was “dismal at best,” according to the suit, and it was sold four years later for 8,000 British pounds.
Lamaze also was sued last year by the managers of a $30,000 per month luxury apartment in Miami. Their suit said he owes almost $80,000 in unpaid rent, damages and early lease termination fees. Another private landlord in Miami sued him this year for $12,500 in unpaid rent on a one-year lease he signed in January and allegedly broke in April—a judge found in the landlord’s favor and Lamaze was evicted. A bank that loaned Lamaze $1.8 million in 2017 to purchase a 70-foot yacht, M/Y Water Jump II, successfully foreclosed upon the yacht and repossessed it March 23, saying that Lamaze, Torrey Pines Stables and another of his businesses, Water Jump Ltd., owed more than $1.42 million after they stopped making timely payments in 2020 and stopped making payments altogether in September 2022.
In the Miami luxury apartment case, the property managers allege that Lamaze signed a one-year lease in November 2020 but stopped paying rent in March 2021. He informed the property manager he would be terminating early, on May 1, due to “an unforeseen medical emergency,” and asked for understanding “considering the circumstances of my departure are out of my control.”
Although Lamaze did not share the nature of the medical emergency in his lease-termination letter, FEI records indicate that he was able to compete Nikka, Chacco Kid and Fine Lady 5 at the St. Tropez-Grimaud CSI5* (France) May 5-6, 2021, as well as the Madrid CSI5* and Piazza di Siena CSIO5* (Italy) later that month. He withdrew from Tokyo Olympic consideration in July, citing health concerns, but continued to compete heavily until September, at which point he stopped competing, again citing health issues.
In February, a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of the property management company and ordered Lamaze to pay nearly $120,000. Court records indicate he has not yet filed necessary paperwork related to the case and could face further sanctions.
In many of the cases filed against Lamaze, the plaintiffs have been unable to locate him to serve legal notice of the suits.
Source : Equnews/TheStar.com