British Columbia

John Furlong files lawsuit against B.C. newspaper

Former Vancouver 2010 Olympic head John Furlong has filed lawsuit against the Georgia Straight newspaper and journalist Laura Robinson.

Former Vancouver 2010 Olympic head John Furlong has filed suit against the Georgia Straight newspaper and journalist Laura Robinson.

Furlong filed the claim against the Vancouver weekly newspaper and journalist Laura Robinson on Tuesday, but it wasn’t entered into the B.C. Supreme Court’s electronic registry until Wednesday.

Although the suit centres on an article published in the Georgia Straight on Sept. 27, the allegations cited in Furlong's claim begin in 2008 and continue until November.

In the court documents, he claims Robinson has written a number of sharply critical articles since 2008.

But he says she "maliciously intended to injure his reputation" with the September piece, detailing allegations of verbal and physical abuse during time he spent as a physical education teacher in Burns Lake. Furlong taught at the school in the late 1960s but the experience was left out of his memoir, which begins with his arrival back in Canada in 1974.

Furlong claims Robinson also filed a report with the RCMP, but says police advised the Georgia Straight's editor in August there were inconsistencies between her account and that of the student she named.

Furlong claims Robinson has defamed him in emails to members of Own The Podium since the article appeared.

He says the article caused him distress and embarrassment, as well as the loss of speaking engagements.

Furlong is asking for punitive damages, as well as an apology and retraction.

At a news conference held immediately after the publication, Furlong categorically denied all the allegations.

Furlong's lawyer said Tuesday they would no longer be commenting on the case as it is before the courts.


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