It is Monday that comedian Mike Ward will be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada in the case between him and Jérémy Gabriel, almost 10 years after the start of this saga.
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The artist will apply to the highest court in the country to avoid having to pay $ 35,000 to the young man, now 24 years old.
Mike Ward was convicted at first instance because of salty jokes he made about Jérémy Gabriel, in the show “Mike Ward is exposed”, between 2010 and 2013.
Suffering from Treacher-Collins syndrome, the one that the Quebec public nicknamed “the little Jeremy” was laughed at about his physique during 230 performances as part of this tour.
At the time, Jérémy Gabriel was a minor. Despite the teenager’s requests to end the jokes about him, Mike Ward persisted. Judging that these jokes hurt him, he brought a lawsuit against the comedian.
The Human Rights Tribunal ruled in his favor in 2016, forcing Mike Ward to pay the young singer $ 35,000 and his mother $ 7,000.
The comedian challenged the decision, but the Court of Appeal partially upheld the judgment in November 2019, only exempting the comedian for the $ 7,000 awarded to the victim’s mother.
But Mike Ward makes it a political affair and has always said he was ready to go to the Supreme Court in the name of “freedom of speech.” “I’ll tell you right away, I like to do better. of prison than to pay this fine! ” he already wrote on his Facebook page.
The court finally agreed this summer to hear his case.
Jérémy Gabriel serene.
A few days before the first hearing by videoconference, Jérémy Gabriel gave an interview this week to the “Journal de Quebec” in which he said he was “serene”, trusting that justice will rule in his favor for a third time.
However, he said he was eager to turn the page on this story, he who has received death threats because of the fight he is leading.
“I was a child, a disabled child who had to live with it, but who also had to learn to live with bullying and the result of a spectacle that shattered all my adolescence and a good part of my adulthood. », Reiterated the young man, who we knew in 2006, when he was only 9 years old and he had been invited to the Vatican to sing in front of Pope Benedict XVI.