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Marcel Aubut apologizes for behaviour; will leave law firm

Marcel Aubut is apologizing for his behaviour amid allegations he sexually harassed several women. He says he is also leaving the BCF law firm and seeking counselling.

Public apology in Montreal by former COC president

Marcel Aubut, right, shown with 2016 Canadian chef de mission Jean-Luc Brassard, apologized for his behaviour amid allegations of sexual harassment and said he was seeking counselling. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

A seemingly repentant Marcel Aubut apologized on Friday for his behaviour amid widespread allegations he sexually harassed several women.

"For the last 10 days or so, I have been living in turmoil," he said in a statement he read out to reporters.

"The crisis brought on by my behaviour also plunged into turmoil my family, my friends, my associates, my employees and everyone who has been hurt by this behaviour.

"Today, to all those people and to all the others who have been outraged by what they have seen or heard in the last several days, it is from the bottom of my heart, the bottom of my heart and with all the sincerity I am capable of, that I offer my unreserved apologies."

Aubut, 67, stepped down as president of the Canadian Olympic Committee last weekend after women accused him of sexual comments and unwanted touching.

He also said in his statement he is leaving the BCF law firm and seeking counselling.

Interim COC president Tricia Smith said this week the organization's board was not aware of "any specific interactions that would be construed as harassment."

La Presse and the Globe and Mail both reported a letter written to Aubut in 2011 indicated high-ranking people in the organization were uncomfortable with Aubut's conduct toward women.

Smith insisted the board did not know about the letter but said an independent body has been asked to look into the circumstances of the June 2011 letter.

An employee lodged a harassment complaint with the COC, but withdrew it with Aubut's resignation. Smith said the COC is fielding no other official complaints at this time, but other women have given interviews to Quebec media accusing Aubut of sexually harassing them.

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