A former newspaper reporter confirms Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized to her the day after an inappropriate encounter at a B.C. music festival almost two decades ago.
The woman also confirms she is the reporter that was referred to in an editorial 18 years ago in the Creston Valley Advance that said she was groped by Trudeau while covering the event.
She says in a statement that appears to come from her email account that she did not take the matter any further at the time and doesn’t plan to do so now.
She says she has never had contact with Trudeau again.
Trudeau has said he did not act inappropriately towards the reporter but acknowledges she may have had an entirely different perspective.
The Canadian Press has chosen not to name the woman to protect her privacy.
“The incident referred to in the editorial did occur as reported. Mr. Trudeau did apologize the next day,” the woman said in the statement Friday.
“I enjoyed my career as a reporter, but it ended a long time ago. I avoided issuing a statement earlier out of concern for my and my family’s privacy.
“Beyond this statement, I will not be providing any further details or information. The debate, if it continues, will continue without my involvement.
Trudeau said Thursday he’s been thinking for several weeks about what happened when he was 28 years old and before he entered politics.
“I’ve been reflecting very carefully on what I remember from that incident almost 20 years ago and again I feel — I am confident — that I did not act inappropriately,” he told a news conference in Toronto on Thursday.
“But part of this awakening that we’re having as a society, a long awaited realization, is that it’s not just one side of the story that matters.”
The event in question was the Kokanee Summit festival in August 2000, which Trudeau attended to accept a donation to the Kokanee Glacier Alpine Campaign. The Trudeau family launched the campaign after his youngest brother, Michel, died in an avalanche in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park in 1998.
The unsigned editorial said Trudeau “inappropriately handled” a reporter there to cover the event and apologized to her by saying, “If I had known you were reporting for a national paper, I never would have been so forward.”