Russell Williams’ estranged wife files defence against lawsuit
In this October 2010 file photo, former Canadian Forces colonel Russell Williams, right, leaves court in Belleville, Ont. (Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Friday, August 10, 2012 2:31PM EDT
The estranged wife of convicted killer Russell Williams has filed a statement of defence against accusations made in a $4-million lawsuit from the family of one of his victims.
In her statement, Mary Elizabeth Harriman refuted all claims made against her by the estate of Jessica Lloyd. Lloyd’s family sued the couple for emotional distress after the 27-year-old Belleville, Ont., woman was sexually assaulted and murdered in 2009.
Russell Williams is currently serving a life sentence at the Kingston Penitentiary after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in the sex slayings of Lloyd and Cpl. Marie-France Comeau, 37, of Brighton.
The former Canadian Forces colonel, who has been stripped of his rank, also plead guilty to 82 break-and-enters and thefts, as well as two sexual assaults.
The lawsuit, filed by Lloyd’s brother and mother in January, seeks damages worth $4 million for the mental suffering they say they have endured, among other things.
Lloyd’s family alleges that Williams secretly and fraudulently transferred assets, including a house in Ottawa, to Harriman in March 2010 after he was charged with murders and sexual assaults.
None of the allegations in the Lloyd family’s lawsuit have been proven in court.
Harriman’s statement of defence refutes all the allegations against her and says Lloyd’s family is not entitled to any of the financial relief they’re seeking.
It goes on to deny claims that the transfer of assets was fraudulent, stating that the move was made transparently and meant to provide Williams’ wife with some financial security following his arrest.
The legal filing says all claims made against Harriman by Lloyd’s estate should be dismissed and the plaintiffs should be required to cover her legal costs.
Williams has not yet filed a statement of claim against the lawsuit.
Williams and Harriman also face a $7-million lawsuit from Laurie Massicotte, Williams' former neighbour in Tweed, Ont. and the victim of a 2009 sexual attack that saw her stripped naked at knifepoint.
Harriman denied that claim in a previously filed statement of defence.
Williams and Harriman are in the process of getting a divorce.