A New Jersey teenager has sued her parents for financial support after running away from home last October. 18-year-old Rachel Canning claims that her parents were the reason for her bulimia and that her father showed “inappropriate affection,” leaving her no other choice but to escape the house. She has since sued her parents for “abandoning” her when she ran away from home and said she’s entitled to $654 per week in child support based on their current annual income. Canning also asked for private school payments and legal fees.
For the last several months, Canning has been living with the family of her friend, Jamie Inglesino, and the girl’s parents are paying her legal fees. “I have been subjected to severe and excessive verbal and physical abuse by my mother and father,” she wrote in court documents. “My mother was always demeaning to me. She called me ‘fat’ and ‘porky.’ In my sophomore year, I developed an eating disorder…In my junior year, I was down to 92 pounds…[my father] got me drunk at a wedding and said I was his date. He kept giving me shots and mango martinis…he constantly put his arm around me in public and would kiss me on the cheek.
Her parents, Elizabeth and Sean, vehemently denied the allegations and a Department of Families and Children inquiry cleared him of abuse. They claim her hatred developed when they insisted she receive treatment for her bulimia, as well as disapproving of her current boyfriend. The parents also said that Rachel ran away from home after refusing to follow their rules after being suspended from school in an incident that involved him. They also alleged that Rachel has tried to sabotage their marriage by setting up an online dating profile for Sean. Denying the abuse claims, Elizabeth said that “in fact, the case worker told us that it was in her opinion that we spoiled our daughter. We gave her too much.”
Judge Peter Bogaard set a date for a second inquiry, but warned Rachel that she had not yet provided sufficient evidence to win her case. He also took offense to a voicemail she left her mother, in which Rachel told them “I f*cking hate you” and “I want to s*it on your face.” The judge slammed Rachel for “gross disrespect” and giving them “the proverbial f you.” He also urged the court to consider the ramifications of Rachel receiving any financial compensation. “[What if] we open the gates for a 12-year-old to sue for an Xbox, a 13-year-old to sue for an iPhone…what about a 15-year-old asking for a 60 inch TV?”
(Photo: Associated Press)