BRITISH COLUMBIA

John Furlong Countersued By Journalist Laura Robinson

01/28/2014 01:15 EST | Updated 01/28/2014 07:59 EST
AP
CEO of the organizing committee for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games John Furlong react as he watches the lighting ceremony for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games at the temple of Hera in ancient Olympia, western Greece, on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

UPDATE: 1:20 p.m. — John Furlong responded to Laura Robinson's lawsuit with the following statement on Tuesday: "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." Andrea J. Shaw, founder and managing partner of co-defendant the TwentyTen Group, declined comment under advice of lawyers.

Former Vancouver Olympic CEO John Furlong is being countersued by a journalist who alleges that he carried out a smear campaign against her.

Laura Robinson filed a defamation lawsuit against Furlong in B.C. Supreme Court on Monday alleging that he and marketing company, the TwentyTen Group, have repeatedly maligned her reputation over the course of 14 months.

Robinson alleges that the first defamation occurred on Sept. 27, 2012, when Furlong held a press conference to respond to an article that the journalist wrote for the Georgia Straight newspaper.

The story detailed an alleged pattern of physical and verbal abuse against students at a school in Burns Lake, where Furlong was employed as a physical education teacher in the '70s.

Furlong denied any wrongdoing and accused the reporter of a "shocking lack of diligence" and "inaccurate reporting."

In the lawsuit, Robinson alleges that the press conference maligned her reputation by communicating "false, malicious or defamatory" information about her. She goes on to detail more cases of alleged defamation from October 2012 to December 2013 in the form of news releases and press interviews.

None of the claims have been proven in court.

Robinson is seeking unspecified damages and an injunction that would stop Furlong and TwentyTen Group "from further writing, printing or causing to be written and printed, or otherwise publishing the alleged or any similar libel concerning the plaintiff."

Robinson's lawsuit comes after Furlong filed his own defamation action against the journalist and the Georgia Straight, though he later dropped the suit against the newspaper.

Furlong is also facing lawsuits from three people who allege he sexually abused them.

The former CEO said in December 2013 that the RCMP had closed an investigation into claims of sexual assault against him by an ex-student and found no evidence to support criminal charges.