Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Steven Galloway at the University of British Columbia on April 11, 2014.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

Steven Galloway, the bestselling author who lost his job in a #MeToo scandal before the term became ubiquitous, has won a key legal battle in his lawsuit against his accuser.

The woman accused Mr. Galloway, the former head of the University of British Columbia’s creative-writing program, of sexual assault and harassment. Mr. Galloway is suing the woman – a former student in the program – for defamation, along with more than 20 other people, including UBC faculty and other Canadian authors.

His accuser, known in court documents as A.B. (and commonly referred to as M.C. for Main Complainant, as her identity is protected under a court order), is trying to have the lawsuit thrown out under B.C.’s new anti-SLAPP legislation. SLAPP stands for strategic lawsuits against public participation and the law is aimed at protecting people from being silenced on matters of public interest.

Story continues below advertisement

In a hearing on that matter, Mr. Galloway’s lawyers had asked for a number of documents – including e-mail correspondence with some of the other people named in Mr. Galloway’s lawsuit. Then a judge ruled that A.B. had to produce many of those documents. A.B. was appealing that ruling. This week, a three-member panel upheld the original ruling.

“In the circumstances the documents were relevant,” the judgment states.

The case dates back to November, 2015, when Mr. Galloway was suspended because of “serious allegations” made against him. After a months-long investigation, retired B.C. Supreme Court justice Mary Ellen Boyd concluded on a balance of probabilities that Mr. Galloway had not committed sexual assault. She did find that he had had an inappropriate affair with A.B.

Mr. Galloway was subsequently fired by UBC for an irreparable breach of trust.

UBC later paid Mr. Galloway more than $240,000 in damages after it was found that the university had violated his privacy rights and damaged his reputation.

Then in October, 2018, Mr. Galloway filed his lawsuit, arguing that he was defamed by false accusations of rape, sexual assault and physical assault. “The defamation began with false statements by A.B. to several other defendants, who recklessly repeated and asserted the truth of the accusations both within UBC and publicly on the internet, including on Twitter,” his filing argues.

Mr. Galloway’s lawsuit says the allegations continued, despite the findings of the Boyd report that concluded the allegations of rape, sexual assault and assault were unsubstantiated. “The defamatory statements were devastating to the plaintiff both personally and in his professional career,” his lawsuit states.

Story continues below advertisement

In May, 2019, A.B. applied to have Mr. Galloway’s lawsuit dismissed under the Protection of Public Participation Act (PPPA), B.C.'s anti-SLAPP legislation.

If she is successful in her application, Mr. Galloway’s lawsuit would be dismissed.

A.B.'s appeal was heard in January.

“The PPPA should be interpreted in a way that encourages rather than discourages the reporting of sexualized violence,” David Wotherspoon, one of A.B.’s lawyers, argued in court.

In their filing leading up to that hearing, Mr. Galloway’s lawyers argued, “If there is any hope of a person’s reputation ever recovering, vindication of the true facts by a court is vital.”

This week, a three-judge panel upheld the original ruling, so A.B. is now compelled to turn over those documents.

Story continues below advertisement

“In my view, in the circumstances here, the prejudice to A.B. is outweighed by [the reputational] interests and the potential prejudice to Steven Galloway if denied the document disclosure he seeks on the dismissal application,” Chief Justice Robert Bauman ruled. Justices David Tysoe and Patrice Abrioux agreed.

The trial in Mr. Galloway’s defamation suit had originally been scheduled to begin this June. But the anti-SLAPP matter will have to be dealt with first.

We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter written by our B.C. and Alberta bureau chiefs, providing a comprehensive package of the news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Sign up today.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies