Court throws out sex scandal lawsuit involving Manitoba justice

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Court throws out sex scandal

A Manitoba judge has thrown out a lawsuit launched by the man at the centre of a sex scandal involving an associate chief justice of the province and her lawyer husband.

Justice John Menzies of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench ruled Tuesday morning that a $10-million lawsuit brought by Winnipeg computer programmer Alex Chapman against Jack King, the lawyer husband of Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas, had no merit.

Mr. Chapman went public several months ago with allegations that Mr. King showed him nude photos of his wife in an effort to entice him to have sex with her. The alleged overtures took place in 2003 when Mr. King, a Winnipeg family lawyer, represented Mr. Chapman during his divorce proceedings.

Mr. Chapman maintains he never had sex with Judge Douglas. He said he decided to go public with his experiences because he continues to feel like a victim.

In 2003, Mr. Chapman signed a confidentiality agreement for $25,000 which stipulated that he would not take legal action and would return all documentation and photos provided to him.

But last month, Mr. Chapman filed a statement of claim seeking $10-million from Mr. King, alleging breach of fiduciary duty, misfeasance in public office, harassment and negligence, among other things.

This morning, Judge Menzies said the original confidentiality agreement signed by Mr. Chapman was valid and that the statute of limitation had expired.

“No matter whether the limitation period is two years or six years, the Plaintiff did not commence his action wthing the prescribed period,” Judge Menzies wrote. “I find the Defendant has satisfied me that the claims advanced by the Plaintiff were settled in 2003 ... The Defendant is entitled to rely upon that settlement and to allow the matter to proceed further would be an abuse of process.”

Mr. King’s lawyer, Bill Gange, expressed relief at the decision, but questioned why Mr. Chapman decided to make his allegations public so long after events.

“From my persepctive, from Jack’s perspective, we just look at this and say why has he been put through all of this horror show that he’s lived for the last two and a half months?” Mr. Gange said. “There was no reason for it.”

Mr. Gange has maintained that his client acted without his wife’s knowledge and that he was suffering from depression at the time.

Mr. King has filed a countersuit against Mr. Chapman for breaching the confidentiality agreement. That case is ongoing.

Tuesday’s decision comes about a month after Mr. Chapman dropped a similar, $7-million lawsuit against Judge Douglas.