“Weekend of Horror”: Man Sentenced to Prison After Abusing Ex-Girlfriend at Disney

Neon-lit sign reading "hotel santa fe" against a twilight sky, arching over the hotel entrance with a vibrant 'Disneyland Paris' poster illuminated above it.
Credit: Disney

Trigger Warning: This article deals with topics of domestic abuse and violence against partners; audience discretion is strongly advised.

More often than not, we at Disney Dining cover stories about the wondrous happenings at the parks. With incredible theme park rides and attractions like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and lands like Avengers Campus at domestic parks like Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, as well as global ones like Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland.

However, sometimes there are more difficult stories to cover. Today is one such day. Recently, a report of a man who severely mistreated and abused his ex-girlfriend and forcibly dragged her to Disneyland Paris made the news.

Disneyland Paris

Mickey Mouse and Friends in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris / Credit: Disney

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A horrifying case was relayed at the Bruges criminal court by a 24-year-old young woman who had suffered unspeakable horrors at the hands of her ex-boyfriend. The woman was humiliated and tortured by her ex-boyfriend and repeatedly abused in multiple ways.

As explained to the court, the woman began seeing her ex-boyfriend back in 2020. Red flags began showing themselves at the start of the relationship in the form of the ex-boyfriend’s morbid jealousy. He reportedly also physically assaulted her and broke into her parents’ house because “he had to see her.”

walt disney studios park disneyland paris

Disney Adventure World, formerly known as Walt Disney Studios Park, Disneyland Paris / Credit: Disney

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After a brief breakup, the couple moved in together in Bruges, Belgium, in March 2022. However, the situation only worsened this time.

“My client was not allowed to party, she had to close her social networks and cut ties with her friends. She had to ask permission to leave the house and was not even allowed to whistle in the shower,” the woman’s defense lawyer, Joris Van Maele, explained.

The true horror unraveled the weekend of the woman’s birthday. She woke up to see her ex-boyfriend had broken into her apartment, after which he tortured, humiliated, and raped her in unspeakable ways. The woman’s lawyer explained that “It was downright bestial. Even an animal is not treated like this.”

He then forced her to wear sunglasses to cover up the bruises and dragged her to the Parisian Disney Park for more of the same mistreatment.

Walt and Mickey as the Partners Statue at Disneyland Paris

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse in the Partners Statue at Disneyland Paris / Credit: Loren Javier, Flickr

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 “She tried to speak to another couple at reception [and get help], without success,” Mr Van Maele said, of the pair’s time at Disneyland Paris.

Eventually, the woman’s roommate came home, saw blood in their apartment, and immediately phoned the victim’s mother. However, the woman returned to Belgium the next day, and the ex-boyfriend even dropped her off at the police station, threatening to find her when he “got out.”

A sentence of nine years has been requested for the accused, with an additional five years of supervision. He has pleaded guilty to almost all crimes he was accused of, save for the attempted murder.

He also apologized to his ex-girlfriend. “I am deeply ashamed and I hope she recovers. Normally I respect women and the facts have nothing to do with cultural differences, but with our very difficult relationship. Women are the queens of the world.”

If you or anybody you know is in need of support, reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1.800.799.SAFE. 

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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