Allegations of child abuse levied against Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini

Zach Laing
1 year ago
UPDATE: The NHL has released a statement via Rick Dhaliwal on the allegations.
“We are aware of the allegations that have been made in the Family Court proceeding in Vancouver and have been in touch with Mr. Aquillini and his lawyers regarding the same,” the league said. “Clearly, the parties have been involved in a most contentious divorce.
“Mr. Aquillini 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.”
ORIGINAL: Allegations of child abuse have been levied against Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini by four of his children, CBC reported Tuesday.
The allegations were heard by B.C. Supreme Court Tuesday and came to light during a hearing that surrounded whether Aquilini is “obliged to continue paying child support and covering university expenses for three of his children,” CBC reported. The allegations claim Aquilini beat a sleeping child and threw a five-year-old across the room, CBC reported.
Aquilini has denied the allegations.
According to The Vancouver Sun, the three children desire to no longer have any contact with their father. All three still live with their mother and at ages 20, 22, and 24, are attending post-secondary in various programs.
Tali’ah Aquilini’s lawyer, Claire Hunter, said each of the children “disclosed physical and psychological abuse to their mother, though many of the specifics weren’t revealed until after the separation,” CBC reported. The names of the children, the school’s they attend and other personal information according to CBC, have been redacted at the children’s request.
Ken McEwan, the lawyer for Francesco Aquilini, didn’t address the allegations in court except to say they’re “irrelevant” to the matter at hand, CBC reported, adding that McEwan said “the only question is whether his client has access to enough information to decide if there is a legal obligation to continue supporting the children.”
McEwan added Aquilini “needs to be able to see more information about the children’s education, including whether they are regularly attending class and passing or failing, as well as justification for things like student housing, unexplained breaks from class, airline flights and a $48,000 computer,” CBC reported.
Here’s more of CBC’s report detailing the alleged abuse:
One child recalled an incident in which they say their father began beating them while they were sleeping and continued to beat them until they woke up. Another remembered being punched in the stomach by Francesco Aquilini.
In the most lengthy passage Hunter read for the court, one child described their father becoming angry with the children because they were being too loud in the family rec room.
“The respondent [Francesco Aquilini] then forced all of us upstairs into our individual rooms, went to each room to physically abuse each child. I saw the respondent throw another child — at that time five years old — across the room,” the affidavit says.
“I locked myself in my bathroom. The respondent broke the lock and was throwing his body at the door to come in and beat me. I called the claimant [Tali’ah Aquilini] and asked her to hurry home, stating I was scared the respondent would kill me, and I was worried that he had already killed my younger siblings.”
In a separate statement released on Francesco Aquilini’s behalf, he “categorically denies” and is “outraged” by the allegations, The Sun reported.
“The couple were divorced and reached a settlement in 2013. 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,” the statement via The Sun read.
“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.”

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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