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Rejected proposal ends in $188k break-up bill

Odd News

Break-ups are never easy, but the split that a couple in Australia is dealing with may have you thinking that yours isn’t that bad. Distraught over a break-up, Bruce Dusting, a 65-year-old man from Australia, issued an invoice of $200,000 Australian (over $188,000 US) to the woman he claimed to be romantically involved with. 9 News Australia’s A Current Affair recently interviewed Bruce who was tearful after his marriage proposal to Marie Lacombe, a 42-year-old single mother from Melbourne, was rejected. Through his lawyers, Bruce issued the invoice that demanded Marie repay him for the various purchases he made for her while they were together.

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Bruce Dusting (9 News Australia/A Current Affair)

Bruce Dusting (9 News Australia/A Current Affair)

Bruce met Marie when she was his ballroom dance instructor, then he claims their relationship developed into a romance and the two were a couple. But Marie denies that saying that they were merely friends. When he popped the question, Marie ended involvement with her dance student saying, “Things took a turn for the worse when I said, ‘No,’ to getting married to him for a marriage of convenience. It was a shock to me.”

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Marie Lacombe O9 News Australia/A Current Affair)

Marie Lacombe O9 News Australia/A Current Affair)

Bruce showed 9 News a list he kept of all of the expenditures he made on behalf of Marie and her children which included things like dental appointments, shopping trips, Zumba classes, and her children’s birthday parties. He even said that Marie had asked for a loan of $25,000 Australian (over $23,000 US) for emergency surgery, but when he visited her in the hospital he discovered that the loan had paid for a tummy tuck and breast implants. Marie agrees that he loaned her that money but aside from that, the rest of the financial help was given to her out of friendly kindness. She said, "When I moved into my house, he went and bought a bed for myself and for my children. I didn't ask him to do that.” Marie also contends that she worked for years for Bruce as an office assistant yet never received pay for her time. "Where's my money for working for him for four years day in, day out? Where’s my money for, where’s my pay?...I’m pretty sure my pay outweighs what he’s saying." Marie said.

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Bruce Dusting's recorded transactions during his relationship with Marie Lacombe. (9 News Australia/A Current Affair)

Bruce Dusting's recorded transactions during his relationship with Marie Lacombe. (9 News Australia/A Current  …

Bruce enjoyed spending time with Marie and her children but asserted, “I never gave her a thing. I loaned her money. Loaned her. I kept track of it.” So why did he keep loaning her such large sums of money? Bruce explained, “Simple. There was a person in need. I was in a position to help.” Marie has said that she will consider paying some of the money back, but not the full amount that Bruce invoiced.

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(9 News Australia/A Current Affair)

(9 News Australia/A Current Affair)

On top of the financial impact, Bruce is feeling so much stress from the situation that he may never dance again saying, “I’ve probably still got the ability within physically. Mentally, I still have the ability, but emotionally it’s just not there anymore.” To which Marie replied, “Come-on seriously, he’s a grown man, if he stopped dancing, he can’t blame someone else for it.”

Video & more info: 9 News Australia: A Current Affair

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