Eric Abramovitz trained almost his entire life to study the clarinet at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. Then, the school of his dreams turned him down–or so he thought. Turns out Abramovitz’s girlfriend at the time, Jennifer Lee had decided taken her boyfriend’s fate in her own hands.
In an effort to protect their relationship, Lee–also a musician–had hacked Abramovitz’s email account and sent him a fake rejection letter from Colburn Conservatory of Music. Upon receiving this rejection, Abramovitz says was deeply upset, going through “some really dark, sad, angry days.”
Abramovitz had actually been accepted and granted a $50,000 scholarship. Lee, in her panic that their relationship would end due to him leaving their current school they attended together deleted the acceptance letter. She then emailed Colburn from her boyfriend’s email account–rejecting the scholarship and stating that he was pursuing another school.
OK, the winner#PeopleBehavingBadly belongs to the ex-girlfriend of Eric Abramovitz… What she did was downright evil! https://t.co/EAa96Q2Oeo
— Stanley Roberts (@StanleyRoberts) June 15, 2018
However, the truth came to light about six months later after the couple split. As Abramovitz put it, “things were getting too intense.” Still determined to study under Colburn’s esteemed clarinet master, Yehuda Gilad, Abramovitz auditioned for a place at USC, where the master also taught. Upon seeing Abramovitz, Gilad became confused and asked the young man why he now wanted to be his student after rejecting his Colburn acceptance. Abramovitz, confounded, responded “Uh, no. You rejected me.”
While he was granted a position to study under Gilad at USC, Abramovitz said he could not shake the feeling that this strange exchange ignited–something with his Colburn rejection was off. So he took matters into his own hands. Abramovitz dug up his “rejection letter” from (not) Colburn and sent it to Gilad–who then confirmed it was a fraud. Feeling utterly shattered and even more confused, he then hired some computer professionals and kept digging. They hit a dead end until a close friend asked him, “what about Jen?” Abramovitz then retraced his ex-girlfriends cyber-steps and realized it was her who had almost destroyed his career. “It was very Sherlock Holmes-y and we were so excited about our detective work, but it was a simultaneous stab to the heart and back,” he said. That was when Abramovitz hired a lawyer.
On Wednesday, Abramovitz won his case against Lee and was rewarded $300,000 in general damages–including loss of reputation, loss of educational opportunity and loss of two years of potential income. The judge also added an extra $50,000 against Abramovitz’s ex for “her despicable interferences in Mr. Abramovitz’s career.”
Abramovitz has continued to advance his career and has recently accepted a position with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as its associate principal clarinet and E flat clarinet.
He is also in a new relationship which he describes as “awesome.” “We’re really happy,” he said. “I would like to think that since my first relationship my judgment of character has improved just a little bit.”
Scammed clarinetist Eric Abramovitz says despite his ex-girlfriend's betrayal, he's happy he still got to work with teacher Yehuda Gilad in the end pic.twitter.com/l82uCuQEQp
— AM2DM by BuzzFeed News (@AM2DM) June 15, 2018