Accuser predicts Rob Ford will 'own up' to groping allegation
The woman who has accused Toronto Mayor Rob Ford of behaving inappropriately at a public event believes he will "eventually own up" to the allegations, despite the fact that he is adamant they are "not true."
Sarah Thomson, a former mayoral candidate, released a statement to media on Sunday evening, following remarks Ford made earlier in the day, in which he again denied allegations that he inappropriately touched her at a public event last Thursday.
Summarizing the events of the past three days, Thomson said that she had written a Facebook post on Friday morning alleging that Ford "made suggestive comments" and "groped" her at a Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee event the night before.
"Since then, the Mayor, his supporters and conservative media agencies have denied my claims, impugned my character and attacked my credibility," Thomson said in her statement on Sunday.
"I did not make these accusations lightly. I admit I did not handle the press perfectly, but I had just gone through a very rattling experience."
Her statement came several hours after the mayor spoke briefly about the situation on his weekly radio show that is broadcast on Newstalk 1010.
"I don't even want to waste my time anymore on this. This was not true," Ford said Sunday, noting that he posed for many photos that same evening but no other issues were reported.
The mayor also said that "when people want to make up stories, that's their prerogative and [I’ll] leave it at that."
During the same radio broadcast, Ford also said: "In my personal opinion, I’ve always said, I don’t know if she’s playing with a full deck from the first time I met her and I told her that that night."
Thomson made specific reference to this phrase in her statement.
"Decades ago powerful men who sexually assaulted women would call them 'hysterical,' or 'crazy' to debase their credibility. It pushed many assaulted women into silence," Thomson said.
"Today Mayor Ford stated that he wondered if I was 'playing with a full deck' try to discredit me. He will not push me into silence and I hope his accusations do not re-ignite the old fears that once silenced women."
When Thomson’s allegations were raised on Friday, the mayor immediately rejected them.
"I am shocked, dismayed and surprised. I can say without hesitation that they are absolutely, completely false," he said in a statement released Friday.
Sarah Thomson's full statement from Sunday
Early Friday morning, I posted a photo to my Facebook and reported that Mayor Rob Ford made suggestive comments and groped me at a CJPAC party.
Since then, the Mayor, his supporters and conservative media agencies have denied my claims, impugned my character and attacked my credibility.
I did not make these accusations lightly. I admit I did not handle the press perfectly, but I had just gone through a very rattling experience.
Over the past few days people have accused me of hating the Mayor and this I must repeat is not the case. I have always found him to be respectful, somewhat shy, but professional. While things have been competitive between us, I have always appreciated his stand on the need for subway expansion.
I am not the kind of woman who sees chauvinism everywhere or believes in reckless denunciations. But Mayor Ford was behaving inappropriately, and there was clearly something wrong with him during the CJPAC event.
He must be discouraged from over indulging to the point where he is groping or making lewd comments, and women should not put up with it when it happens. The Mayor was outrageous, he acted horribly, and I won't be intimidated by the whitewashing he has tried so hard to generate.
Decades ago powerful men who sexually assaulted women would call them "hysterical," or "crazy" to debase their credibility. It pushed many assaulted women into silence. Today Mayor Ford stated that he wondered if I was "playing with a full deck" try to discredit me. He will not push me into silence and I hope his accusations do not re-ignite the old fears that once silenced women.
We need an ongoing dialogue to ensure respect for women in the workplace and to create an inclusive and safe society for all.
Unlike the Mayor, I do not have a history of lying about my behaviour. Mayor Ford has lied publicly numerous times. He denied the drunken incident where he verbally assaulted a Durham couple during a hockey game but later admitted to it. And During 2010 civic election campaign he denied being arrested for pot possession in Florida and then admitted it and another DUI charge.
The Mayor has a history of denial but usually owns up to his mistakes once the facts become overwhelming and I expect that he will eventually own up to this one.
Mayor Ford's full statement from Friday
Last night I had the pleasure of attending a wonderful event to support the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee.
This is an event that is attended by numerous political leaders and where I have been a guest in the past.
Early this morning, false allegations were made regarding a number of disgusting actions. I am shocked, dismayed and surprised. I can say without hesitation that they are absolutely, completely false.
What is more surprising is that a woman who has aspired to be a civic leader would cry wolf on a day where we should be celebrating women across the globe.
This is a day we should all take the time to reflect upon the women in our lives and in our society. It is a day when we can envision the changes we want to make in our communities to ensure that all people are equal and that violence and discrimination against women comes to an end.