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Canucks owner denies abuse allegations heard in Vancouver family court

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The owner of the Vancouver Canucks has responded to bombshell allegations that he abused his children, which were heard during a family court proceeding this week.

In a statement, a representative for Francesco Aquilini said the Canucks owner "categorically denies, and is outraged by" the allegations levelled against him at a child support hearing in downtown Vancouver Tuesday.

"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 said. "It is unfortunate that allegations without merit are brought forward for a collateral purpose."

The Canucks owner's ex-wife, Tali'ah Aquilini, has applied for continued child support for three of their adult children, who continue to live with her while in university.

"It’s really disappointing that I have to keep coming back to court in order to try to enforce Francesco’s obligation to pay child support for the children,” she told reporters outside B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Her lawyer, Claire E. Hunter, wrote in a statement to CTV News that Francesco Aquilini has had affidavits from her client and all four of their children for "many months."

"He has not given any evidence denying any of that affidavit evidence," Hunter wrote.

Tali’ah Aquilini is also asking that the judge allow her to redact information from receipts when she submits them, so her ex-husband cannot find out information about where the children are going to school.

The court heard claims that the children suffered abuse and that is why they don’t want their father to know which school they're attending. 

The NHL released a statement Wednesday confirming the league is aware of the allegations and has been in touch with Aquilini and his lawyers.

"Clearly, the parties have been involved in a most contentious divorce," the league said. "We plan to continue to monitor the situation and, if necessary, will respond as we learn more as events unfold."

The Aquilinis divorced in 2013.

Georgialee Lang, a family lawyer who closely followed the couple’s divorce proceedings, said in cases where adult children are estranged from a parent, that parent can argue against making support payments.

"It doesn't mean that he automatically doesn't have the obligation to pay child support, but he has an argument to make to the court as to why he shouldn't,” Lang explained.

A judge will have to determine if their estrangement is legitimate and the abuse allegations are true, the lawyer said.

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