06/15/2015 14:58 EDT | Updated 06/15/2016 01:12 EDT

Furlong's vendetta against journalist triggered comments: lawyer in B.C. court

VANCOUVER - A lawyer for a freelance journalist says accusations by former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong that his client was an activist rather than a professional journalist ruined her career.Bryan Baynham told a defamation trial that Laura Robinson has devoted her career to giving a voice to marginalized people and that's what she was doing when she investigated allegations that Furlong abused First Nations children.Robinson is suing Furlong for comments he made after she wrote a 2012 newspaper article alleging Furlong beat and racially taunted aboriginal students at a Burns Lake, B.C., school more than 40 years ago.Baynham says that after the story was published, Furlong made multiple statements implying Robinson had fabricated what she wrote because of a personal vendetta.Furlong has denied any allegations of abuse and says in court documents that he had a right to respond in the media to Robinson's "attacks."