Trudeau denies sexually assaulting reporter in 2000



A former journalist broke her silence on Friday to stand by her allegation that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau groped her almost two decades ago, when he was not politically involved.

The liberal leader said he would not speak for the woman - "I would never presume to speak for her" - and that no one on his team had contacted her because they did not think it was appropriate.

"The debate, if it continues, will continue without my involvement", Knight said.

"I've been reflecting very carefully on what I remember from that incident nearly 20 years ago and again, I am..."

Nothing particularly significant when Trudeau, a self-described feminist, said in a January 30, 2018 interview with CBC that women who make such allegations should be supported and believed, that the rules of appropriate conduct applied to him as well as to other politicians, and that he was confident he would never be accused of inappropriate behaviour because, he had been "very, very careful all my life to be thoughtful, to be respectful of people's space and people's headspace as well"?

Allegations against the prime minister re-surfaced last week when a Calgary law professor posted a picture of an old Creston Daily Advance newspaper editorial page that featured claims the then-teacher engaged in inappropriately "handling" a reporter.

She was referring to the original Canadian report on the allegation, which said that Trudeau, who was 28 at the time and not involved in politics, had apologized to the reporter in question. "I was assigned to cover the August 2000 Creston music festival by my employer and was the reporter referred to in the editorial". However, he acknowledged the woman who made the allegation may have experienced their interaction differently.

Trudeau also received criticism for going for a shirtless jog in Toronto the same day he addressed the allegations. I do not intend to issue any further statements or participate in any interviews.

The woman said she had not responded to media requests until now out of concern for her and her family's privacy.

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"I would never presume to speak for her, but I know there is an bad lot of reflection to be had as we move forward as a society", he said.

"I don't remember any negative interactions that day", the prime minister said.

Bollywood actor R. Madhavan said that it was a pleasure and honour meeting the Canadian PM Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau is the son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

Valerie Bourne, former publisher of the Advance, told CBC News that she spoke with the reporter in 2000: "My recollections of the conversation were that she came to me because she was unsettled by it".

However, the Prime Minister emphasised his understanding that women and men can experience situations differently.

The results of a third-party investigation into the allegations against Hehr were not made public, but after its conclusion Trudeau allowed Hehr to remain a member of the Liberal caucus, though chose not to reinstate him to cabinet.

"Even though I don't think I did anything wrong, that's not the whole story anymore", Trudeau said.

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