The potential heir to the Dalai Lama is being sued for child support and spousal support by a former nun who claims the couple had a “marriage-like relationship.”
Vikki Hui Xin Han says she has only met Ogyen Trinley Dorje – known to millions of followers as His Holiness, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, or simply the Karmapa Lama – four times.
Despite this, a court in British Columbia – where Han lives – allowed him to sue Dorje for spousal support in a case that could open new legal horizons in Canada.
Han, who was trained as a Buddhist nun, says she got pregnant when Dorje visited a New York monastery in 2017.
She says their relationship “grew into a loving and loving relationship” that kept the couple in touch via text, email and phone calls. She says Dorje also sent her over $ 700,000.
The Karmapa Lama denies having a romantic relationship with Han, claiming that any emotional and financial support he provided was “for the benefit of the child. [she] told him it was his daughter.
In the Buddhist faith, sex is considered a serious monastic transgression.
The potential heir to the Dalai Lama has been sued for alimony and child support by a former nun who claims the couple had a “marital-type relationship”. Pictured: The Karmapa Lama in Toronto
Initially, Han sued for child support. However, she asked the court to allow her to amend her claim to include spousal support in a case that could cover a new legal basis at trial in April 2022.
The case raises a “new” question according to Master Bruce Elwood, the Supreme Court official who granted Han’s request, the SociÃ©tÃ© Radio-Canada (CBC) reported.
“Can a secret relationship that started online and never made it to the physical world be like a marriage?” Elwood wrote in the decision released Tuesday, seen by the CBC.
âMs. Han’s request is new. It may even be weak. Almost all of the traditional factors are missing. However, traditional factors do not constitute a mandatory checklist that limits the ‘elastic’ concept of a marriage-like relationship, âhe added.
“And if the COVID pandemic hasn’t taught us anything else, it’s that real relationships can form, flourish and end in virtual worlds.”
Elwood is not a judge, but is one of the 15 masters of the Supreme Court who decide pre-trial motions and procedural orders.
Saying that he did not want to be disrespectful when referring to the Karmapa Lama by his last name, he stated that the man’s way of life was “monastic and nomadic”.
âHis true homeland is Tibet, but he currently resides in India. He receives followers from all over the world at Gyuto Monastery in India, âElwood wrote.
“He also travels the world to teach Tibetan Buddhist dharma and organize pujas, ceremonies in which Buddhists express their gratitude and devotion to the Buddha.”
Pictured: Tibetan Buddhist nuns in exile take part in a prayer procession at Choeling Monastery in Kathmandu on March 10, 2020 [file photo]. Vikki Hui Xin Han, who was training to be a nun, says she only met Ogyen Trinley Dorje four times, but claims spousal support
Dorje is considered the successor of the Dalai Lama as the leader of the Tibetan Buddhists of the world. He was recognized as the reincarnation of the Karmapa Lama when he was found by a research team in 1992 at the age of seven.
His story made international headlines in 1999 when he fled China-controlled Tibet to the Dalai Lama compound in India when he was just 14 years old. The incident has strained relations between India and China.
In one of the great controversies of Buddhism, he is one of two contenders for the title of Karmapa, along with another named Trinley Thaye Dorje.
Han claims to have met Dorje in a ceremony in 2014, before starting a three-year residency at the American monastery in 2016. She claims to have seen him twice more, including when she became pregnant in October 2017.
âAfter learning that she was pregnant, Ms. Han requested a private audience with Mr. Dorje,â Elwood wrote. âMr. Dorje initially denied any responsibility; however, he provided Ms. Han with her email address and cell phone number and, according to Ms. Han, said he would “prepare money” for her. ‘
Han, who was training to become a Buddhist nun, claims that she became pregnant with Dorje at a New York monastery in 2017. But after that, she says their relationship “turned into a loving, loving relationship.” , who saw the couple exchange a text. massages, through which Dorje (pictured praying in 2017) sent her over $ 700,000
Dropping her plans to become a nun, Han returned to Canada and the two kept in touch as her due date approached, it is said.
“The parties appear to have expressed care and affection for each other in these communications,” Elwood wrote. The parties wrote in private shorthand, sharing jokes, emojis, cartoon portraits and ‘hugs’ or ‘kisses’.
Han claimed to believe that Dorje was in love with her and that they were living in a “marital relationship” in 2018, and in the months leading up to the birth of her child in June of that year, Dorje transferred 420,000 to her. US $ and Canadian $ 350,000.
This, she claims, included money for a house and a wedding ring, and in the months that followed, Dorje reportedly wrote to her: “Take care of her and you are my duty for life.”
According to the court ruling, Han claimed that what the couple had was a marital relationship, made untenable because Dorje “is prohibited by her position and religious beliefs from intimate relationships or marriage.”
They lost contact in January 2019, Han says, and she sued him the following June.
The Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada (pictured) – where Han lives – allowed him to sue Dorje for spousal support in a case that could break new ground in law
This is not the first time that a Canadian court has been asked to consider what constitutes marriage, with Elwood referring to a list of 22 factors grouped into seven categories that were part of a 1980 case that sought to find a reply.
Categories include housing, sexual behavior, services within marriage, social and societal activities, economic support and children, according to CBC.
Elwood said that while the pair – almost in every category – missed the mark, he noted that the judge would ultimately rule that the case could consider Dorje’s financial backing to be important.
âThey seem to have discussed marriage, trust, honesty, finances, mutual obligations and the acquisition of family assets. These are not matters that one would expect Mr. Dorje to discuss with a friend or disciple, or even with the mother of his child, without an element of the marriage-like relationship, âElwood wrote.
âA trial judge may conclude from the facts alleged by Ms. Han that the parties loved each other and would have lived together, but could not do so due to Mr. Dorje’s religious duties and nomadic lifestyle. ”
The DailyMail.com has reached out to representatives for Dorje for comment, but has yet to receive a response.