Interesting story. I believe it, but it doesn't really match up with the stories of others who have done business with Sim, that I can recall. Most describe him as always living up to his agreements, whatever they were.
One could also say that Sim was never really comfortable publishing anyone else, and that most of the early growth of Aardvark-Vanaheim was instigated by his ex-wife Deni Loubert while she served as publisher. After they divorced, the other titles didn't last much longer. Journey was probably one of the longest-running.
I certainly wish that Messner-Loebs was still active in comics. I know he's faced a lot of hardships. I loved Journey.