You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Lifestyle - Top Stories

Bickering ex-lovers bring unique twist to issue of child support

Toronto Star logo Toronto Star 2018-04-15 Rosie DiManno Star Columnist

Greedy, greedy, greedy.

Cheap, cheap, cheap.

Grand River Enterprises, the multimillion-dollar corporation in Ohsweken that Kenneth Hill co-founded, is a cigarette-maker. © Ron Pozzer Grand River Enterprises, the multimillion-dollar corporation in Ohsweken that Kenneth Hill co-founded, is a cigarette-maker.

Bicker, bicker, bicker.

In so many ways, the dispute between a pair of ex-lovers — parents to a young boy — is no different from thousands of others that end up in court with mutual bitterness and stubbornness.

Except for this: Multimillionaire Kenneth Hill, whose empire springs from cigarette manufacturing on a reserve, claims that his aboriginal status should exclude him from Ontario’s Family Law Act, which applies to everybody else in the province.

Bollocks, counters his former common-law spouse, although even that assertion — that they co-habited for several years — has been challenged in court documents.

Brittany Beaver is Tuscarora, also a member of the Six Nations confederacy. Unlike Hill, Beaver does not live on the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve.

She lives in Waterloo, in a $896,000 home purchased for her and their son by Hill, residing with her current common-law husband and their toddler.

She receives approximately $10,000 a month in child support — in cash — and a further, on average, $4,000-plus a month for additional expenses, primarily private school fees for the boy.

She wants between $85,701 — based on Hill’s self-reported (and untaxable, because of his Indian status) 2015 income of $2,108,500 — monthly in spousal support and $33,183 a month (based on Child Support Guidelines) for their son, retroactive to the couple’s separation.

“I cannot provide (my son) with a lifestyle comparable to the lifestyle enjoyed by Kenny on the current amount of child support paid by him,” Beaver stated in a 2016 affidavit. “My home in no way approximates the standard of living that Kenny enjoys in his residences (or the residences of his other children).”

There are, apparently, five other Hill spawns, with five other women.

She wants him to buy her a “cottage” in Collingwood.

She wants to be designated as the beneficiary of Hill’s life insurance policy in the amount of $4.3 million, to “secure child and spousal support” in the event he dies.

She wants an order compelling full financial disclosure.

She wants Hill to pay her interim disbursements of $125,000 for legal fees and $75,000 for accounting fees — essentially that he pay for the costs of chasing him through the courts, pending resolution of his constitutional gambit.

Beaver hasn’t worked outside the home since giving birth to their son in 2009. She may indeed desire the very best for this child — who wouldn’t? — but he’s also, it would seem, her meal ticket. Which is not the intention of those aforementioned child-support guidelines, which stipulate that recipients are obligated to make reasonable efforts toward self-sufficiency after a marriage or common-law relationship ends.

Beaver and Hill, according to court documents, began dating in 2008, were co-habiting within months, lived together — she maintains — until mid-2009, although they maintained separate residences and continued a sexual relationship, off and on, until they separated in 2013.

Hill’s feelings toward her, Beaver says, changed after she became pregnant. He often didn’t come home. He was “controlling, demanding and verbally abusive.” There was an incident in the Bahamas, on his yacht, when he allegedly put her in a “choke hold” and threatened to punch her in the face. That’s when she ditched him for good.

Hill, says Beaver, has since been inattentive to their son, rarely seeing him.

Happier times: There’s no denying Beaver was in clover during their years together, living large.

There was opulence and, by Beaver’s own inventory of perks, luxuriant generosity from Hill.

A partial list of Hill’s enjoyments during those years: Posh vacations in Las Vegas, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and Hawaii; a $10,000 shopping spree in Vegas on his credit card; $30,000 in cash as a birthday present; jewelry worth up to $40,000 as a Christmas gift; a pair of Breitling watches; a $75,000 “fancy restaurant” birthday party in the Bahamas; a $12,000 shopping trip to Versace in New York; a $70,000-$80,000 shopping spree at Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Holt Renfrew in Toronto; another shopping trip, between $70,000 and $90,000 dropped, in Toronto; a five-karat diamond solitaire ring with “an estimated value of $50,000 to $70,000;” an Audi, two Escalades, a GMC Terrain (“for my mother”), another Escalade, a Ford Explorer (“for my mother”), a Porsche Panamera (though she never took possession of the vehicle because they broke up), a Buick for her grandparents, a Cadillac; a $283,000 property in Kitchener and $30,000 for furnishings and six built-in televisions; a cottage for about $400,000 in Turkey Point, though “at the last month he switched title into his name alone;” VIP boxes and limo bus transportation to concerts by Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé and the Rolling Stones, among others, as well as Maple Leaf and Raptors games. And, oh yeah, Hill paid off her mother’s $100,000 mortgage.

I’d say Beaver made out like a bandit. But maybe I’m being churlish. She has become accustomed and, apparently, entitled.

Who is 59-year-old Kenneth Hill?

Co-founder of Grand River Enterprises in Ohsweken with holdings in various other businesses that he claims have a “nominal value.”

What she claims, in a menu of Hill’s alleged enterprises and assets: The Caledonia Corvairs hockey team, a recording studio, a golf course, a retail store on the Six Nations Reserve (the Sit-n-Bull), a gas station, a Fort Erie restaurant, a pizza joint, a café, a spa. Further, that he owns or has owned over the years, luxury vehicles worth more than a million dollars: two Ferraris, four Rolls-Royces, two Bentleys, two Range Rovers, a limousine bus, a Hummer, “at least” four Mercedes and “several BMWs,” a private plane, up to 20 motorcycles, eight to 10 all-terrain vehicles and up to 10 jet skis, an 80-foot yacht and a 70-foot speed boat.

A Hamilton Spectator investigation in 2006 revealed that Grand River Enterprise built itself into a global player in the cigarette market with annual sales that may have exceeded $300 million by the mid-2000s.

The case has dragged on for years and, it strongly appears from court filings, the laggard timeline is completely down to Hill, with repeated attempts to delay case conferences.

It was only in March 2016 that Hill argued for the first time that his Indigenous rights were being violated and that Ontario courts should have no jurisdiction over the matter. The Haudenosaunee people, his lawyers assert in documents, have an inherent right to govern themselves “with respect to the care and support of children and the resolution of disputes with and between families concerning such care and support,” a right that has never been ceded to any government.

The legal argument is unprecedented and was rejected in Superior Court last year.

“He wishes to compel both the court and (Beaver) to embark upon a complex, expensive and likely very protracted litigation journey with no clear map, no set destination and no end in sight,” wrote Justice Deborah Chappel, “a proposition which the Supreme Court of Canada has clearly stated should not be entertained.”

Chappel ruled that Ontario Family Court is the proper jurisdiction for the case.

Hill is taking his Charter challenge to the Ontario Court of Appeal. It is scheduled to be heard in June.

On her Facebook page, Beaver has this to say: “Don’t be the woman who needs a man. Be the woman a man needs.”

Rosie DiManno usually appears Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

AdChoices

More From Toronto Star

AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon