NHL: Allegations of child abuse levied against Canucks owner
The NHL said Wednesday that it is continuing to monitor a family situation involving Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini.
Aquilini was accused of physically and psychologically abusing his four now-adult children when they were minors on Tuesday in a Vancouver courtroom.
“We are aware of the allegations that have been made in the family court proceeding in Vancouver and have been in touch with Mr. Aquilini and his lawyers regarding same,” the league’s statement read. “Clearly, the parties have been involved in a most contentious divorce. Mr. Aquilini has advised us that he categorically denies the allegations. We plan to continue to monitor the situation and, if necessary, will respond as we learn more as events unfold.”
Aquilini is alleged to have beaten one of his sleeping children and continued to do so after the child woke up, while one of his kids claimed to have seen him throw a 5-year-old child across a room. Aquilini also allegedly punched a child in the stomach, causing the youngster to cry.
Aquilini’s ex-wife, Tali’ah, who settled a divorce with her husband in 2013, has applied to have the three youngest children declared to be “children of the marriage” for purposes of child support payments. Her lawyer, Claire Hunter, said Tuesday that the children “no longer wish to have any contact with their father and felt ‘fear and anxiety’ about the possibility of him contacting them.”
Tali’ah Aquilini wants her ex-husband to continue to support the children even though they are now in college. According to Francesco Aquilini’s team, all of the bills he has received for reimbursement have had personal information about the kids — such as the school they attend — redacted and don’t contain enough visible information to determine Aquilini’s responsibilites.
A statement of denial was released on Francesco Aqulini’s behalf later on Tuesday, per TSN and The Athletic.
“Francesco Aquilini categorically denies, and is outraged by, the accusation made by his ex-wife Tali’ah in family court today and that he ever abused his children. The couple were divorced and reached a settlement in 2013,” the statement read. “Mr. Aquilini has met and will continue to meet any child support obligations required by the law, but he has concerns about the veracity of the information provided in support of financial demands. It is unfortunate that allegations without merit are brought forward for a collateral purpose. He will have nothing further to say at this time as the matter is before the courts.”
Hunter told Supreme Court of British Columbia Justice Karen Douglas on Tuesday that Francesco Aquilini has not made child support payments since September 2021.
“It’s really disappointing that I have to keep coming back to court in order to try to enforce Francesco’s obligation to pay child support for the children,” Tali’ah Aquilini told reporters on Tuesday, per The Province. “These are really amazing children. They are very intelligent, they are of good character, and they’ve worked hard in really vigorous programs.”
–Field Level Media