*UPDATE: John Furlong has responded to today’s news with the following statement: “I will continue to defend my reputation and hold Laura Robinson to account for her irresponsible reporting that has deeply hurt me and my family. I welcome the opportunity to meet Laura Robinson in the courtroom to address her irresponsible reporting, which instigated this entire matter.”
Journalist Laura Robinson is countersuing former VANOC CEO John Furlong defamation, alleging he has damaged her reputation since 2012.
On September 27, 2012, the Georgia Straight published Robinson’s story alleging a history of physical and verbal abuse by Furlong, when he was a PE teacher at Burns Lake’s Immaculata School in the 70’s.
Furlong has since denied those allegations penned against him.
“I am very disappointed, in spite of numerous written cautions, by the reporter’s shocking lack of diligence in researching the article,” Furlong said in September, 2012, in his press conferenced response to Robinson’s and the Straight‘s story.
“As a result of inaccurate reporting, I feel that my character has been recklessly challenged and I have no choice now but to proceed with legal action,” Furlong continued. “It is also beyond all belief that The Georgia Straight newspaper did not place a single call to me to validate any of the elements of this story.”
Robinson alleges Furlong’s defamation of her began that day, with that presser. She is suing Furlong and marketing company TwentyTen Group and is seeking general, aggravated, and punitive damages (Global BC).
“Mr. Furlong and TwentyTen Group have turned a very serious issue – allegations of physical and racial abuse of children made by courageous and vulnerable First Nations people – into a disturbingly vitriolic and untrue campaign against a journalist,” Robinson said in a press release.
Furlong filed a suit against the Straight and Robinson in November of 2012, but has since dropped his suit against the paper.
March 30, 2015 has been set, by Robinson, as a date for her case against Furlong to begin in B.C. Supreme Court. The allegations against both Robinson and Furlong have not been proven in court.
Furlong has apparently responded to Robinson’s countersuit with a statement sent out by PR firm Stringcom:
“I will continue to defend my reputation and hold Laura Robinson to account for her irresponsible reporting that has deeply hurt me and my family. I welcome the opportunity to meet Laura Robinson in the courtroom to address her irresponsible reporting, which instigated this entire matter.