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The accusations against John Furlong arose publicly last month. The abuse is alleged to have occurred decades ago, during Mr. Furlong’s previously undisclosed time in the northern B.C. community of Burns Lake.
The accusations against John Furlong arose publicly last month. The abuse is alleged to have occurred decades ago, during Mr. Furlong’s previously undisclosed time in the northern B.C. community of Burns Lake.

MEDIA LAW

Writer defends Furlong story Add to ...

The author of a controversial article about former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong says she made concerted, multiple efforts to get his side of the story before it was published in the Georgia Straight last September.

In November, Mr. Furlong filed a lawsuit over the story, which alleged that he abused students while teaching at a school in Burns Lake, B.C., in the 1960s.

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In a response to the suit released Monday, Laura Robinson said she made a number of attempts to reach out to Mr. Furlong and his lawyer. For example, she said she approached Mr. Furlong at a luncheon on April 29, seeking him out in a private moment at which she alleges he yelled at her, turned his back and walked away.

“She did her best to get both sides of the story,” Ms. Robinson’s lawyer, Bryan Baynham, said in an interview.

Monday’s documents include some new allegations against Mr. Furlong. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

A week ago, the Georgia Straight said in a filing that the story was not defamatory and the publication was “diligent” in its efforts to try and verify the contents of the piece before it ran. The paper, through its lawyers, also said the story was a responsible communication on various matters of public interest, including the possible abuse of first-nations children in day schools operated by the Catholic Church in B.C. in the 1960s and 1970s.

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