Full text of John Furlong's statement regarding Georgia Straight article
John Furlong issued the following statement today (September 27) to the media in response to allegations in the Georgia Straight's article, John Furlong biography omits secret past in Burns Lake. It also appears on his website.
As you are aware I have been accused of physical abuse and apparently within the last hour, sexual abuse. I want you to know I categorically deny absolutely ANY wrongdoing and I believe that the RCMP in looking into this matter will discredit the complaint entirely because it JUST did not happen
Let me just say I am proud of the work I have done and the time I spent in the north and across the country working with First Nations and Aboriginal communities. I have the honor of having two Aboriginal names given to me by Aboriginal groups for accomplishments we achieved together.
I am also proud of the book
Given my background and experiences working side by side with First Nations leaders and communities, it was very troubling to read the recent article as it deals with very serious, unfounded, allegations that are completely without merit.
Because of the gravity of the situation, I encourage the police to continue to investigate the allegations and especially how they were arrived at.
Further, I am very disappointed, in spite of numerous written cautions, by the reporter’s shocking lack of diligence in researching the article. As a result of inaccurate reporting, I feel that my character has been recklessly challenged and I have no choice now but to proceed with legal action. It is also beyond all belief that the Georgia Straight newspaper did not place a single call to me to validate any of the elements of this story.
Advancing this after more than 40 years, particularly when I have been in the public eye constantly for the past 14 plus years is beyond me. Having experienced this reporter on many occasions in the past this feels very much like a personal vendetta. And finally let me just say on the very first occasion that this was brought to my attention prior to the Olympics I was advised for that for a payment it could be made to go away. And as such I reported this to the police.
So why NO mention of Burns Lake in my book? My time in Burns Lake was fairly brief and fairly uneventful. I went back to Ireland and came to Canada years later as a landed immigrant. However, I have friends in Burns Lake. Been there many time since. I have spoken there. I visited the community with a First Nations delegation prior to the Olympics, and brought the Olympic Torch Relay through the Community, ALL without incident.
There is much I could comment and would like to, but as this issue is now with the police and the courts, I am not in a position to provide further remarks.