VANCOUVER - John Furlong, whose reputation as the face of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics was tarnished earlier this year by decades-old allegations of abuse at a school in northern British Columbia, has filed a lawsuit targeting the weekly newspaper that first published the claims, a spokeswoman says.

Furlong's lawyers filed a statement of claim Tuesday targeting the owner of the Georgia Straight newspaper, reporter Laura Robinson, publisher Daniel McLeod and editor Charlie Smith, according to an emailed statement from Furlong spokeswoman Catherine Locke.

The free, weekly newspaper published a story on Sept. 27 that quoted eight former students who claimed Furlong hit, kicked and verbally abused them and other students during his time as a physical education teacher in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Within hours, Furlong held a news conference with his lawyer to announce legal action and deny he abused anyone. He was also forced to deny a news report published by the CBC, which quoted a former female student who said she had recently recovered memories of sexual abuse.

Furlong accused Robinson of having a vendetta against him and claimed she did not attempt to contact him to hear his side.

The Georgia Straight responded then by defending the story. Robinson said she attempted to contact Furlong repeatedly and she threatened her own lawsuit over Furlong's claims to the contrary, though she has not yet filed any legal action.

Furlong's statement of claim was not yet available from the B.C. Supreme Court registry late Tuesday afternoon and his lawyers declined to provide a copy. The statement said Furlong would not be commenting now that the case was before the court.

The defendants named in the lawsuit did not return calls seeking comment, nor did a lawyer who provided the Georgia Straight with written affidavits that were used in the original article.

The allegations involved Furlong's time as a volunteer teacher at Immaculata Catholic School in Burns Lake, a remote northern community located about 1,000 kilometres north of Vancouver.

Immaculata was a religious school run by the Oblates, a missionary order, but it was not an Indian residential school. Students, including non-natives, attended by day.

The allegations published in the Georgia Straight article ranged from hitting the students with a yard stick to kicking them in the buttocks or slapping or hitting them in the head. One student said he suffered repeated beatings, while another suggested Furlong called them "good for nothing Indians."

The Georgia Straight also accused Furlong of fudging his biography — notably when it comes to his arrival in Canada. Furlong has frequently told the story of his arrival as an immigrant in 1974, but had not publicly talked about his earlier work in Burns Lake.

Furlong denied every allegation, both at his news conference and in a subsequent written statement.

He said he never abused his students, but instead "treated everyone in a fair, appropriate manner and at no time unlawfully or harmfully."

Furlong also claimed someone approached him before the 2010 Winter Olympics, telling him he could make the allegations go away for a payment. He said he reported the incident at the time to the RCMP

The RCMP confirmed in September that they have launched an investigating related to the case, but have not detailed exactly which claims they are looking into.

Furlong said he never hid or purposely omitted speaking about his time in Burns Lake. Rather, he said his stint in the community wasn't in his biography because it was brief and uneventful.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Christine Sinclair Enters

    Soccer player Christine Sinclair carries the Canadian flag into the Closing Ceremonies of Olympic Games in London on Sunday August 12, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Balancing Act

    Canadian athletes celebrate in the Closing Ceremonies of Olympic Games in London on Sunday August 12, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Blanket Toss

    Canadian athletes celebrate in the Closing Ceremonies of Olympic Games in London on Sunday August 12, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • A Better View

    Canadian athletes celebrate in the Closing Ceremonies of Olympic Games in London on Sunday August 12, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Draped In The Flag

    Canadian athlete Carol Huynh celebrates during the closing ceremonies of Olympic Games in London on Sunday August 12, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • A Job Well Done

    Canadian athletes celebrate in the Closing Ceremonies of Olympic Games in London on Sunday August 12, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • Celebrations!

    Canadian athletes celebrate in the Closing Ceremonies of Olympic Games in London on Sunday August 12, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

  • 2012 Olympic Games - Closing Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: The team from Japan parade into the stadium during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

  • Flag bearers parade during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Flag bearers parade during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Flag bearers are showered with confetti in Olympic Stadium during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

  • Light bulbs glow on the heads of performing artists during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Graham McPherson, also known as Suggs, right, lead singer of British band Madness performs during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • A performer waves a British flag from a representation of St. Stephens' Tower during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • Actor Timothy Spall portrays Winston Churchill as he delivers a speech from atop a representation of St. Stephens' Tower during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Performers cycle on the stage during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • The Olympic Stadium is shown during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • British-Irish boy band One Direction performs during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Ray Davies sings "Waterloo Sunset", during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Kristy Wigglesworth)

  • Jessie J performs during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Kristy Wigglesworth)

  • British gold medallist in the men's 10,000-meter and 5000-meter events Mo Farah, center, attends the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • British comedian Russell Brand performs during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • British singer Annie Lennox performs "Little Bird" during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

  • British model Kate Moss poses on stage during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • George Michael performs during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • British singer George Michael performs "Freedom" during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • Cars drive around as part of a performance during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • Athletes enter the Olympic Stadium during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Flag bearers parade during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • The Spice Girls perform during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

  • The Spice Girls perform during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

  • The Spice Girls perform during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

  • A group of volunteers crowd around a television camera man's iPad outside Olympic Stadium to watch the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

  • British DJ Fatboy Slim performs on a giant octopus during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

  • British singer George Michael performs d

    British singer George Michael performs during the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games at the Olympic stadium in London on August 12, 2012. Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Olympic Games. AFP PHOTO/LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Ethiopian athletes dance during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • British comedian Eric Idle performs during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Kristy Wigglesworth)

  • Bollywood dancers perform during a performance of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," by British comedian Eric Idle during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

  • 2012 Olympic Games - Closing Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Rio the next host city makes it's presentation during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

  • The Who guitarist Pete Townsend, left, and singer Roger Daltrey perform during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 13, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, performers pose take photographs of each other during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 13, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Fireworks light up the Olympics Stadium during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 13, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Fireworks soar over the Olympic Stadium during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 13, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Soldiers carry the Olympic Flag for the handover to Rio de Janeiro during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, pyrotechnics light up the sky above the Olympic Stadium during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Eduardo Paes, Mayor Rio de Janeiro, the host city of the 2016 Summer Olympics, waves the Olympic flag during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

  • Soak It All In

    French athletes watch as the Olympic Closing Ceremony comes to an end. (AP)