The decision by Justice Miriam Gropper posted online Tuesday follows several 2014 family law rulings against Jody Claman, who appeared in the now-cancelled Real Housewives of Vancouver series.
Eran Friedlander claimed in a submission his ex-wife deserves “reproof or rebuke” for trying to mislead and deceive the court, disobeying court orders, using delay tactics and failing to disclose and dissipating assets.
Gropper agreed, referring the issue to a registrar who will determine just how much Claman now owes.
“Ms. Claman’s actions point to more than a mere finding against her credibility,” said Gropper.
“I find that she deliberately attempted to mislead and deceive the court on numerous occasions and that such deception, when viewed along with the conduct described below, justifies an award of special costs against Ms. Claman.”
Neither counsel for Claman nor Friedlander was available for comment.
Gropper said Claman alleged — sometimes in the presence of the couple’s child — that Friedlander did not financially support their daughter, drove the girl to school drunk, hit her in the face with an iPad, sexually abused the child and had gangland ties.
“After making these allegations, Ms. Claman admitted in her closing submission that Mr. Friedlander is an excellent father,” said Gropper.
Citing another example, Gropper said Claman diminished the amount she was paid as a cast member of the TV show.
“She did not declare it as income on her financial statements or in her income tax return,” said Gropper.
Claman “deliberately and persistently” failed to comply with court obligations to produce documents, commented on Friedlander’s parenting abilities in the presence of their daughter despite a court order prohibiting such comments, and used delay tactics.
The judge said the failure to disclose documents “was not inadvertent,” but was persistent, deliberate and deserving of rebuke and an award of special costs.
Raising mitigating circumstances, Gropper said Claman tried to manipulate and was not candid with a doctor who was writing a court report. She noted Friedlander had to call witnesses to court to address unfounded allegations.
Gropper dismissed Claman’s hardship claim, noting she “is probably concealing assets.”
In an earlier ruling, Gropper awarded the pair joint custody and shared guardianship of their daughter but gave Friedlander the final say on educational, cultural, linguistic and spiritual issues.
She ordered Claman to pay Friedlander $593,893 for family assets and $9,800 for special and extraordinary expenses. Gropper also dismissed Claman’s claim for spousal support.
The registrar hasn’t yet determined the special costs.