OTTAWA — The father-in-law of a bride who posed for a photo with Justin Trudeau says a Sun News Network rant about a kiss on the cheek has been completely misunderstood by personality Ezra Levant.
“Wow! As the Grooms father you couldn't be farther from the truth on the events leading up to and during that photo,” Glenn O'Neill wrote on Facebook in response to an article on The Huffington Post Canada about Levant’s segment.
“We invited Justin to pose for a picture with the bridal party and our daugthter-in-law and her family where thrilled to have a picture with the future Prime Minister of Canada. Shame on you for trying to turn this into a political punch. Call me I'd like to talk,” O’Neill writes as if speaking to Levant.
The bride, who didn’t want to be identified by anything other than her initials J. P-O.C. to avoid the media spotlight, said she still wanted to clear up any confusion.
“It’s just going to cause more drama for us. This was supposed to be a good time for us and it was all out of fun and games,” she told The Huffington Post Canada.
“It was all our idea for him to come into the picture,” she said in a phone interview. Her husband, she said, approached Trudeau and asked him to take photos with her and her bridesmaids.
“He came over, and obviously all our family was watching and they said, ‘Oh give her a kiss on the cheek’ right? He looked over and said: ‘Who is the husband?’ So he said, ‘I am.’ He said, ‘Do you mind?’ He said, ‘No, no, no, not at all.’ He did it for a shot and then he just congratulated us and then went on and did his own thing.”
“The comments in the newspaper that he was a slut or a wedding crasher and stuff, it was nothing like that at all, we were the ones — the guys were the ones who actually asked him to come over,” she said.
The bride said she doesn’t “blame” Trudeau for not wanting to speak with Sun Media any longer. Trudeau’s office issued a statement Tuesday saying he will boycott the organization and its reporters in response to Levant’s rant until the company responds appropriately.
They later clarified the policy would apply to English-language employees, not French-language reporters for the Journal de Québec or the Journal de Montréal. Sun Media, which is a subsidiary of Québécor, includes 42 paid and free daily newspapers and nearly 200 community, shopping and specialty publications.
The bride said she wrote to Levant on Monday and “told him the actual truth but he never emailed me back after that.”
Levant confirmed on Twitter that he had an initial interaction with the bride but he suggested she had not responded to his questions. “Will check my spam filter,” he wrote.
The bride said she also emailed Trudeau but didn’t hear back. “I told him I’m sorry for all the negative stuff that is going on, it wasn’t meant to go that way.”
“Everyone thought it was so cool how he was part of our wedding. The guests and everything they all loved it,” she said.
The couple’s wedding photographer Jennifer Froud told HuffPost she was appalled by what Levant said.
“Justin Trudeau is first and foremost a husband and father and I have a husband and I have children and I just think if someone was dragging my family through the mud I would hope that somebody that could, would be able to defend them,” Froud said. “The way [Levant] was saying that [Trudeau] really intruded on an intimate moment, that is not how it went down at all.”
“Justin certainly wasn’t intruding. I don’t believe he was doing it for any type of political gain. He was literally walking by, caught off guard by someone saying ‘hop in there for a photo’ and he just happily obliged the crowd. It was all in good fun and nothing more,” she said.
Images posted by Froud give more context about the encounter.
Here Trudeau is seen posing with the groom.
Trudeau also posed for this non-kiss photo.
A photo posted to Twitter taken by Trudeau photographer Adam Scotti shows the groom chatting with the Liberal leader as the rest of the wedding party poses.
In a segment aired on Sun News Network last week, Levant alleged that the groom and father of the bride likely did not appreciate Trudeau planting a kiss on the bride’s cheek.
“Who kisses a bride on her wedding day other than her father and her husband? Who thinks that’s his right to do? Just to build up his image,” Levant said.
“I’m pretty sure I can guess what her groom would say, or her groom’s family, or her own father and mother. Justin Trudeau thinks he’s in the movie ‘Wedding Crashers’, that sex comedy where slutty men go to weddings uninvited to bed the maids of honour, but even they had enough class to give the bride herself a pass.”
Levant also alleged that the photo demonstrates a lax attitude about monogamy on the part of the Trudeau family. Levant called Trudeau’s father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, a “slut” who would bed anyone and said his mother, Margaret, didn’t like to wear underwear “back then” -- referring to the 1970s -- and favoured the company of rock stars.
Trudeau’s office has said it will maintain the boycott until Sun Media’s parent company, Québécor, issues an appropriate response. Trudeau’s spokeswoman Kate Purchase told HuffPost the office had made no specific requests.
With files from Zi-Ann Lum
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