A former journalist spoke out on Friday about her allegation that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau groped her nearly two decades ago before his life of politics, Yahoo News reports.
“I issue this statement reluctantly, in response to mounting media pressure to confirm that I was the reporter who was the subject of the Open Eyes editorial, published in the Creston Valley Advance in August of 2000,” Rose Knight said in a statement to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
She spoke of the original Canadian report on the allegation, which said that the then-28-year-old Trudeau made an apology to the reporter back then, Yahoo News reports.
He also said “I would never have been so forward” if he knew she was a reporter.
“The incident referred to in the editorial did occur, as reported. Mr Trudeau did apologize the next day. I did not pursue the incident at the time and will not be pursuing the incident further. I have had no subsequent contact with Mr Trudeau, before or after he became prime minister,” Knight said.
Knight said she will not be commenting further on the issue, according to CBC.
The statement came a day after Trudeau again defended himself against the allegation that he groped a journalist during a music festival in the western city of Creston, British Columbia in 2000, Yahoo News reports.
In an email on Friday, Valerie Bourne, the former publisher of The Advance, said she spoke privately with the woman on the day of the incident, according to The Seattle Times.
She said the reporter told her that the incident involved “an inappropriate touch which in the context of today would be called ‘sexual’ in nature,” according to The Seattle Times.
Bourne believed the reporter and also that she had not been satisfied with Trudeau’s responses.
“Trudeau has now acknowledged that he thinks he proffered an apology to her, but he tempers the acknowledgment by saying that if he did so, it was because he sensed that she was not comfortable with their interaction at that event,” she wrote in the email. “His latest interview is still a tap dance around the questions put to him by reporters and in Parliament.”
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