Until a few days ago, it seemed Patrick Brown had been virtually wiped off Ontario’s political map.
He quit as leader of the province’s Conservatives within hours of sexual-misconduct allegations coming to light, his party moved rapidly to find a replacement and the Tories’ interim chief vowed to clean out the “rot” he had supposedly left behind.
But after two weeks of near-silence, Brown is back, conducting a multi-pronged campaign to clear his name of charges he calls “malicious and false,” as one element of those accusations crumbled Wednesday.
The Canadian politicians, entertainers and business people accused of sexual transgressions as part of the widening #MeToo movement have generally skulked away from the harsh glare of publicity. Brown is one of the first to aggressively fight back.
With media interviews, emotional Facebook posts, private investigators and supportive tweets from a host of Conservative members or provincial parliament and party luminaries, Brown has put to the test charges of sex harassment and assault that were accepted without question two weeks ago when CTV News first reported them.
“Here is my message to CTV News,” he said on Facebook Wednesday. “You lied. You defamed me. I will not allow your brand of trashy journalism to hurt another person in this country.”
And to the two women who accused him of misconduct in his hometown of Barrie, Ont.: “If you truly stand by your allegations, then I urge you to contact Barrie Police and have them lay charges … These types of allegations should be dealt with in a proper and fair forum.”
CTV reported that the two women, neither of whom has been named, were standing by their allegations, but did acknowledge that a key part of one accuser’s story was incorrect as originally reported.
One of them had said she was a high school student under the legal drinking age when Brown met her at a bar about 10 years ago, gave her drinks back at his home, then exposed himself and told her to perform oral sex on him.
She now says she was of legal drinking age and out of high school. Brown was 29.
“Collateral details from an incident many years ago are not important,” the woman said in a statement released Wednesday by David Butt, her lawyer. The issue, she said, is “the abuse of power by an older sober man over a young intoxicated woman.”
‘Absolute lies’: Patrick Brown refutes sexual misconduct allegationsOntario …read more
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