More allegations surface in Furlong lawsuit
The journalist being sued by the former VANOC CEO counters with even graver claims. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS FILE PHOTO)
A journalist hit with a defamation lawsuit by John Furlong said she planned to write two more articles claiming the former VANOC boss raped his common-law wife and groped at least two female students during his early years in northern B.C.
Furlong had publicly denied all the abuse allegations last year. He filed suit against Robinson and her publishers in November.
In her formal response to a lawsuit filed by Furlong in B.C. Supreme Court, Georgia Straight freelancer Laura Robinson alleges that in addition to the groping, many giving accounts of verbal and physical abuse by the Irishman during his secretive time in Burns Lake more than 40 years ago.
“At the end of PE classes, he would ask her to stay by herself and would caress her face and say, ‘You’re my prodigy, you’re my favourite out of all the girls,’” the document details in an incident where the girl’s breasts were also grabbed.
Another time, a 13-year-old girl was followed to a “small dark” equipment room where she was grabbed by the crotch and had her shorts ripped, according to the document.
In her response, Robinson claims she’d also gathered additional, unpublished material on students’ experiences with Furlong as an instructor. She was also contacted by his former common-law wife after Robinson’s first story broke in September.
“The plaintiff raped her many times,” the document details.
“On one occasion, a discussion escalated into a screaming episode and resulted in the plaintiff shoving her against the wall and causing her to fall down the stairs.”
The fall broke the common-law wife’s nose and loosened a tooth, the response notes.
Robinson additionally said Furlong’s suggestion she had a “personal vendetta” against him was an “attack,” noting they’d only spoken three times.