John Furlong dropping his lawsuit against a Vancouver journalist


VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) –  John Furlong will not pursue a defamation lawsuit he brought against the journalist who published accusations that he abused a number of first nations students nearly 40 years ago.

“Canadians now know what took place and what is true,” Furlong says. “I believe, like me, they will feel a sense of outrage over the injustice and the methods that were used.”

This comes a day after a judge dismissed the final lawsuit against the VANOC chief executive, when Daniel Morice, one of the people claiming they were victimized, failed to appear in court.

“It is extraordinary and unacceptable that anyone can make ruinous, toxic allegations against a citizen, put them on the public record via the courts, and then abandon them with impunity,” says Furlong. “Given these three positive court outcomes, the lawsuit is no longer necessary for me to achieve vindication or innocence… I finally achieved that yesterday and my name is cleared. I wish to get on with rebuilding my life.”

While Furlong won’t be taking journalist Laura Robinson to court, he didn’t pull punches when describing her writing over the years.

“Laura Robinson has a history of writing offensive and irresponsible articles that hurt people,” says Furlong. “Consider the article and false allegations she wrote about former Canadian national team basketball coach Ken Shields that was subsequently retracted by the Globe and Mail following a lawsuit.”

In a statement, Robinson says she will continue with her defamation countersuit against the VANOC chief executive, set for June, which she launched after Furlong made comments about her following the publication of her initial article in the Georgia Straight newspaper.

None of the accusations against him were ever proven in court.

Laura Robinson’s response:

At the time the Georgia Straight article was published I wasn’t even aware of the allegations made by Grace Jessie West and the male whose case was dismissed on Monday.  My story was based on serious allegations made by numerous individuals, including allegations contained in eight sworn affidavits and I stand by the work I did.

I feel that the dropping of Mr. Furlong’s lawsuit against me today is recognition that my reporting on the serious allegations was responsible and appropriate.

My suit is about an attack on my integrity and professional conduct as a journalist. It has never been about these three cases.

I look forward to my June 15, 2015 court date.

I will not be making a further statement at this time pending consultation with my legal team at Harper Grey LLP.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today