Jessica Bennett and Pasquale Angelino Zampieri engage in a dispute Thursday outside the Vancouver Law Courts. Keith Fraser/PNG
A former couple battling over an engagement ring squared off against one another in front of TV cameras outside the Vancouver Law Courts Thursday.
Pasquale Angelino Zampieri has filed an application seeking the return of a $16,500 ring he gave his fiancée Jessica Bennett.
The pair appeared in B.C. Supreme Court Thursday, with Zampieri, 46, sitting on one side of the courtroom with his lawyer, and Bennett, 37, sitting on the other side, without a lawyer.
The two eyed each other and mouthed some words as they waited for the hearing to start. Before the hearing could begin, a break in the proceedings was called and they headed outside the courthouse.
Zampieri began speaking to reporters, with his lawyer at his side, but before long Bennett arrived.
The two spent several minutes shouting at one another and pointed fingers, making a number of accusations against one another.
Zampieri and his lawyer, Ada Lam, then went inside the courthouse, leaving Bennett to address reporters.
Later Zampieri returned with Lam and spoke to reporters, as Bennett went inside the courthouse.
“What we want today is to get the ring, either put into court for safe keeping or to have it returned to my client,” Lam told reporters. “Because under B.C. law, this ring should be returned to my client. The engagement didn’t go through and as a result of the contract not being fulfilled, the ring goes back to the person who bought it, which is my client.”
Lam said it doesn’t make a difference who decides the marriage isn’t going to go ahead: “All the allegations about what happened, who broke up with who, doesn’t matter.”
Later in the day, the parties appeared before B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen. After hearing submissions from Lam and Bennett, the judge said Bennett needed time to speak to a lawyer and asked that Lam craft a court order that the defendant could sign to agree not to dispose of the ring pending further court proceedings.
Any decisions on what to do with the ring were put off until the next court appearance, next Friday.
Bennett is claiming that the sapphire and diamond ring was a gift and is fighting to keep possession of it. At one point she took the ring out of her purse outside court and showed it to reporters.
The two met 18 months ago and were engaged shortly afterward. The ring in question was given to Bennett earlier this year. She broke off the engagement in August, prompting Zampieri to file suit.
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