The former CEO of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, John Furlong, has told reporters today that he will not proceed with a lawsuit against freelance writer Laura Robinson.
With great fanfare and massive publicity, Furlong sued Robinson and the Georgia Straight in November 2012 for an article that had appeared two months earlier.
Robinson subsequently filed her own defamation suit against Furlong in January 2014 for allegedly impugning her character in several public statements in connection with her article and her filings in court.
"I look forward to my June 15, 2015 court date," Robinson said in a written statement today.
Furlong said he was dropping his action after a B.C. Supreme Court judge had thrown out the third and final civil suit against him filed by First Nations people in connection with his actions as a teacher at a Roman Catholic elementary school in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Furlong said that the court's ruling brings an end to his "unimaginable nightmare". Robinson, however, maintained that her lawsuit has never been about the three cases that were dismissed in court.
She also stated that when the Georgia Straight article was published in 2012, she was not aware of the allegations of two of the plaintiffs.
The original story, which was supported by eight sworn affidavits, made no allegations of sexual abuse, unlike news reports broadcast later in the same week by News 1130, CBC, and CTV. The latter two broadcasts came after Furlong had raised the issue in a news conference attacking the truth of the Georgia Straight article.
Furlong never sued News 1130, CBC, or CTV for defamation.
"I feel that the dropping of Mr. Furlong's lawsuit against me today is recognition that my reporting on the serious allegations was responsible and appropriate," Robinson stated. "My suit is about an attack on my integrity and professional conduct as a journalist."
In October 2013, Furlong filed a notice of discontinuance in his lawsuit against the Georgia Straight.