NEWS
02/05/2018 10:29 EST | Updated 02/06/2018 07:09 EST

Steve Paikin, TVO 'The Agenda' Host, Accused Of Sexual Harassment By Sarah Thomson

He allegedly made inappropriate comments to her at a 2010 lunch.

Colin McConnell/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Steve Paikin of TVO's "The Agenda" has been accused by former Toronto mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson of sexual harassment.

Ontario broadcaster Steve Paikin is the latest high-profile Canadian to be accused of sexual harassment.

Former Toronto mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson alleges that Paikin, who hosts TVO's "The Agenda," made inappropriate comments to her at a lunch in 2010, the public broadcaster said in a statement Monday.

In a story for Women's Post last week, Thomson wrote that the host of a political talk show, who she did not identify, propositioned her during the mayoral campaign. She said her assistant was present for the meeting.

"Not five minutes into the lunch the host asked me if I would sleep with him. My assistant almost spit his drink all over the table," Thomson wrote. "I politely told the host that I loved my husband and would never do that."

Colin McConnell/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Sarah Thomson alleges that Steve Paikin made inappropriate comments to her at a lunch in 2010.

She said that in the years since, he has approached her several times at events and suggested they "sleep together" — and then usually laughed.

"I wonder if he does this so that if he is ever held to account he can claim that he was only joking?" she wrote.

Thomson is the publisher and CEO of Women's Post.

Third-party investigation launched

According to TVO's statement, Thomson sent an email detailing her allegations to Paikin himself, who "immediately" told the broadcaster.

TVO has hired an independent third party to look into the allegation.

Based on the evidence to date, TVO said it saw no reason to remove Paikin as host of "The Agenda."

"We believe it is important that allegations be fully heard and investigated, adding that TVO does not "tolerate sexual harassment."

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Thomson also accused former Toronto mayor Rob Ford of making sexual advances in 2013.

She alleged in a Facebook post that he grabbed her "ass" and hit on her at an event.

"Thought it was a friendly hello to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford at the CJPAC Action Party tonight until he suggested I should have been in Florida with him last week because his wife wasn't there," she wrote at the time.

"Seriously wanted to punch him in the face. Happy International Women's Day!"

Thomson also made headlines in 2013 when she said that she joked to Conrad Black at a party many years ago about sleeping with him.

"So I asked him if I would have to sleep with him to get an interview ... That was it. It was a joke, it was a party, there was nothing to it," she told the Toronto Star at the time, saying she made the remark when she noticed a number of women "ogling" Black.

She was responding to a column by Barbara Amiel, Black's wife, in which Amiel alleged Thomson offered "to 'bed'" her husband "in return for him granting an interview to her newspaper."

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