John Furlong admits he has no "actual knowledge" of Laura Robinson ever filing a police report

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      The former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics has claimed in several media interviews that journalist and author Laura Robinson went to the RCMP with allegations that he had sexually abused a former student.

      But in a statement of defence filed in B.C. Supreme Court, John Furlong revealed that this wasn't because of any "actual knowledge".

      Furlong's statement is in response to Robinson's notice of civil claim alleging defamation.

      In it, he declares that he "believes that the plaintiff brought Beverly Abraham's allegations to the RCMP based on his diligent review of the information available to him and the information provided to him by the RCMP".

      "The defendant Furlong has no direct or actual knowledge of whether the plaintiff initiated a complaint with or otherwise reported Ms. Abraham's allegations to the RCMP," the document adds.

      Furlong has sued Robinson in connection with an article in the Georgia Straight in September 2012, in which she reported that he had been a teacher at a Burns Lake Catholic elementary school in 1969 and 1970.

      The article included no allegations of a sexual nature, but quoted former students' claims that Furlong had physically abused and racially taunted First Nations students.

      Furlong has denied that this occurred.

      After the article was published, three people claiming to be former students, including Abraham, filed lawsuits against Furlong alleging sexual abuse. He has vehemently denied these claims in court documents and in public statements.

      Meanwhile, RCMP Cpl. Quinton Mackie has written to Furlong saying that the Mounties believe that Abraham's claims "are not supported", which is why there are no grounds for recommending charges against the former Olympics CEO in this case.

      Furlong later made several public statements maintaining that he had been "cleared" by the RCMP; the three lawsuits are still before the courts.

      The three plaintiffs have added a claim of defamation against Furlong.

      Furlong also sued the Georgia Straight but filed a notice of discontinuance against the paper last year.

      In a statement issued today, Robinson noted that Furlong has "made the following statements in the media tying Ms. Robinson to the sexual abuse allegations":

      • October 29, 2013 “Enough is Enough” statement: “After a thorough investigation, the RCMP have cleared me of the allegations that Ms. Robinson brought to the RCMP on behalf of Beverly Abraham in the summer of 2012. ....Given the finding of innocence by the RCMP I am today discontinuing my legal action against the Georgia Straight…Their publication of this reckless article went ahead even after being warned by the RCMP about material, serious discrepancies in Laura Robinson’s reporting….My defamation case against Laura Robinson will continue and be escalated – she is the perpetrator of these defamatory allegations….In forty years of living, working and public service in BC, there had never been a complaint about me. Never a criminal charge, or a reason for one. Laura Robinson then made one. The RCMP has found her allegation against me to be completely unfounded.”

       

      • October 29, 2013 Macleans Magazine interview: “It was a ridiculous charge. It was a lie. And it was placed before the RCMP by Laura Robinson.”

       

      • October 28, 2013 interview with Chris Gailus, Global TV: “And what’s odd about it is that this activist in fact filed a complaint, not the student. She filed it, she went to the RCMP and made the complaint…she was the one that did that.”

       

      • December 12, 2013 Statement and News Release: “My decision to seek a trial has been made in light of an official letter I received yesterday from the RCMP that fully exonerates me with respect to Ms. Abraham’s false allegations, some of which were also published by the activist Laura Robinson…This conclusion by the RCMP—following a 16-month investigation….is further proof of reckless inaccuracy by the activist Laura Robinson. On September 27, 2012 this activist published an article in The Georgia Straight, outlining some of Ms. Abraham’s false allegations.”

       

      Robinson's statement maintained that Abraham filed the police complaint "on her own volition".

      Furlong's statement of defence repeats his oft-stated claim that Robinson's allegations in a court document "were part of a malicious act and personal vendetta...to allow 'back-door' publication of defamatory comments in a manner that may deny the defendant recourse under defamation laws".

      He also claimed that Robinson's "journalistic techniques are highly unorthodox, prejudicial and skewed to creating innuendo".

      Robinson's statement included this reply: "The rest of Mr. Furlong’s Response contains his usual charges against Ms. Robinson; charges she looks forward to defending during her defamation case against Mr. Furlong commencing March 30, 2015. Ms. Robinson and her counsel Bryan Baynham cannot comment further at this time."

      Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter @csmithstraight.

      Comments

      10 Comments

      Salty one

      Mar 2, 2014 at 4:25pm

      This is going to be a long one.

      out at night

      Mar 3, 2014 at 6:28am

      Gee, he seemed awfully darned emphatic about who went to the RCMP and filed that charge. He said so several times, on the record and on-air. He sure sounded like he knew the inside story there...

      But then, turns out, these accusations had no basis in any actual knowledge of his. Really!?

      So, he's a liar. I wonder if there aren't some other whoppers hiding in the pages of his biography "Patriot Hearts".

      Steve Jones

      Mar 3, 2014 at 9:55am

      Just drop your false allegations already GS. By continuing to pursue this "story" all you're doing is making yourselves look like total idiots. If you're so sure that he's guilty then let the courts decide. Stories like this just make you look like a joke.

      His use of "Activist"

      Mar 3, 2014 at 11:03am

      He seems to think "activist" is a derogatory term that diminishes her work.

      He's sounding like Rush Limbaugh using the word "liberal"; it doesn't bode well for his credibility.

      Get over yourself.

      Mar 3, 2014 at 11:18am

      The real truth will likely never be known.
      And in the end game what will have been accomplished?
      The ongoing enablement of dubious victimism and justice? Or quiet vindication of the accused?
      "Yes you did." "No I didn't." "Yes you did." "No I didn't."
      No winners here, Just losers. And unnecessary destruction.
      Grow up, Ms. Robinson.

      Credibility

      Mar 3, 2014 at 11:27am

      @ Steve Jones- I totally agree with you and wrote a post saying the same thing. They did not put it up.
      Laura whines about her reputatation when really SHE is the one who was damaging his with her ignorant allegations. GS is losing credibility.

      cathy

      Mar 3, 2014 at 5:39pm

      Furlong simply is not credible.
      How much did we pay this guy as Vancouver Olympic CEO?
      Maybe time to check his expense accounts?

      skippy

      Mar 3, 2014 at 10:03pm

      Yes, the suits were filed after the article was published and thus after the "interviews" or "research" conducted by Robinson. So absent the suits and affidavits would he article ever have been published? No because Robinson was using the process to create a defence against defamation. Does Robinson have direct knowledge of the allegations against Furlong. No. Furlong relied on what he was told by the RCMO; Robinson on what her "interviewees" told her.

      @skippy, Credibility, Get over yourself, "Steve" "Jones"

      Mar 3, 2014 at 11:26pm

      <blockquote>"interviews" ... "research" ... "interviewees"</blockquote>
      Your entire post is a nonsequitur, peppered with scare-quotes in a childish attempt to denigrate the original story's author.

      Are you seriously questioning whether "interviews" were conducted, and if such "interviews" with "interviewees" qualify as "research"?

      I don't believe you are. I believe you're a shill, like a few other posters here, whose motivation I cannot understand.

      If the story doesn't affect you, why so indignant, angry, and / or bitter?

      If the story *does* affect you, what's your angle? Are you paid? Are you guilty of the same things that Mr Furlong has been accused of and feel a need to jump to his defense? With "friends" and supporters like you bunch, he doesn't need enemies. He can afford excellent legal representation - you're just making his side look bad.

      Please explain - your posts raise more questions about your motivation, your sanity, and your intelligence than they answer.

      out at night

      Mar 4, 2014 at 1:46pm

      Please, doubters and critics, please try to remember that Laura Robinson has not made one single accusation about John Furlong. She has simply reported the statements made by many former students of his.

      I for one find the exclusion of the former students from these discussions to be spurious.