Jérémy Gabriel and his mother are taking up the legal fight against Quebec comedian Mike Ward.

They have both filed separate lawsuits against the comedian for a total amount of $372,600.

Jérémy Gabriel has filed a motion in Superior Court, claiming $288,000 in damages from Ward. Sylvie Gabriel, filed a similar motion in the Court of Quebec, Civil Division, for the sum of $84,600.

The lawsuits allege that both Jérémy and his mother suffered significant damages as a result of the comedy act in which Ward mocked Jérémy when he was a teenager. 

Jérémy Gabriel has Treacher Collins Syndrome, a congenital disease characterized by skull and facial deformities.


Last October, Ward won his case in the Supreme Court, where the highest court ruled that the comedian's comments did not meet the criterion of discrimination.

While acknowledging that Ward's comments were hardly edifying, the ruling argued that discrimination within the meaning of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms could not be invoked to obtain redress in a defamation case.

In other words, the Supreme Court ruled that the wrong court had been used. The decision, however, was a difficult one, with four of the nine judges dissenting.

Jérémy Gabriel and his mother decided to take up their case again, this time using the civil court process.


In both cases, the plaintiffs believe that Ward knowingly attacked them "with malicious intent" and sought "to ridicule, humiliate, and expose them to the hatred or contempt of his audience," personal attacks which, according to them, "are in no way justifiable in the context of a show."

They claim, as they did in the previous action, that Ward's comments caused Jérémy to not want to go out, sing or even exist for two years.

They add that at school, other students repeated the comedian's jokes and insulted him repeatedly to the point where the teenager developed suicidal thoughts.

Jérémy Gabriel claims he still suffers the psychological consequences of these remarks, adding that they have harmed his career and the development of his talent.

Sylvie Gabriel claims to have been "devastated by Mr. Ward's comments" and that he "broke everything she had built with her son." She alleges suffering from insomnia, having "lost confidence in people" and says she has been taking antidepressants since 2012.

She also says that she has been affected by the comedian's insinuations that she "took advantage of her son" and that people around her "made her feel that she had exploited her son, when this is not the case."

She emphasizes that she "has neither a cottage nor a sports car, contrary to what Ward suggests.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Feb. 1, 2022