Azmat Ramal-Shah kirsten jones

Ontario man loses lawsuit against 'sugar baby' who wouldn't be his real girlfriend

The heart may want what the heart wants, but nobody is entitled to be in a relationship with the object of their affection — no matter how much money they spend.

Further to this universally obvious truth, a man who joins a "sugar baby" dating website can't sue a woman he willingly gave cash to in exchange for company, especially not three years after the arrangement ended, and especially not for a staggering $226 million.

This much was decided by an Ontario Superior Court judge after hearing the case of Azmat Ramal-Shah, who'd filed a lawsuit against a 25-year-old woman and her parents seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages "as a result of being lied to."

"The defendant... was 18 years of age when she met the plaintiff, Azmat Ramal-Shah, who was about 30 years of age, on a dating website called 'Seeking Arrangement'," reads a ruling handed down by Justice Robert Smith via Zoom in a Toronto courtroom earlier this month.

"The website is described online as a premier dating website for sugar babies and sugar daddies. Sugar dating is also called sugaring, which is a transactional dating practice typically involving an elder wealthier person and a younger person who needs financial assistance."

It was because of this (how they met,) as well as the fact that Ramal-Shah commenced legal proceedings more than two years after claiming to have been wronged, that the case was dismissed... or mostly dismissed.

While the Toronto-based lawyer didn't get the $226 million he had been seeking for "fraud, defamation, interference with economic interests, intentional infliction of emotional distress and conspiracy," a financial penalty was handed down by Judge Smith in his ruling — payable by Ramal-Shah to the woman's family for their legal fees.

"Azmat started a relationship on a 'sugar daddies and sugar babies' dating site and would have reasonably expected to make some payments to [the defendant]," concluded the judge after considering all of the facts listed as background in the court document here.

"He was disappointed with the extent of their relationship and became obsessed with [her] when she ended their relationship."

The background section of the ruling details how the woman and Ramal-Shah first met online in 2016 while the former was attending university in Ottawa.

"[The defendant] described her understanding of their relationship was that she would keep Azmat company, 'virtually', listen to the stresses of his schooling and job and provide friendship via phone, email, and text," reads the document.

"[She] asked Azmat from money to assist her with various expenses, including rent, using his Uber Eats and Uber accounts on a regular basis."

Ramal-Shah, on the other hand, "understood that [she] was his girlfriend and stated that he was in love with her."

He is said to have transferred approximately $20,000 to the young woman in total during their "relationship," which ended at the request of the young woman in 2017.

"At the beginning of 2017, Azmat became possessive and would interrogate her about who she was spending time with. [The defendant] became very anxious. He threatened to ruin her reputation and would call her harsh names such as 'whore'," reads the ruling.

"[She] tried to avoid contact with Azmat and lied to him stating that she couldn’t meet with him on two occasions – first one, because she had broken her leg, and on another one she had been diagnosed and was being treated for cancer, both of which were not true."

Despite being asked to stop contacting the woman, Ramal-Shah is said to have escalated his behaviour by contacting her family members, friends, colleagues and new boyfriend. He reportedly continued to try and send the university student more money, but she did not accept it.

"He became obsessed and very angry with [the defendant]," reads the document. "Azmat also wrote emails to [the woman's mother's] business contacts complaining about [her] disgusting behaviour of fraudulently scamming him."

After being harassed by Ramal-Shah on Facebook and by email, the young woman's parents contacted police to no avail.

"Between September 2018 and January 2019, Colleen retained legal counsel who sent seven letters to Azmat asking him to cease-and-desist communications with the family," states the ruling.

"Azmat did not comply with these requests and mocked their counsel referring to him as a 'shopping mall lawyer'."

As it turns out, their lawyer was viewed much more favourable by Justice Smith than the Ramal-Shah was when the case was heard.

Not only did the judge strike down any claims that the woman's parents had caused the "sugar daddy" harm, he lamented that Ramal-Shah's initial 340-paragraph statement of claim had "the hallmarks of a vexatious proceeding, which is an abuse of process."

"For the above reasons Azmat is ordered to pay costs to the [redacted] family in the amount of $15,000, plus $616 for disbursements inclusive of HST."

Lead photo by

Western Law Alumni Magazine 2020


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