VANCOUVER — A judge has ruled that former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong did not defame a freelance journalist who reported on allegations he abused First Nations students.
British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Catherine Wedge has released her written decision in a defamation lawsuit filed by freelance journalist Laura Robinson.
Wedge found no evidence that Furlong was motivated by malice and accepted his defence of qualified privilege, meaning he had the right to defend his reputation.
Robinson wrote a 2012 article published in the Georgia Straight newspaper that included sworn affidavits from eight former students who alleged Furlong beat and taunted them at a B.C. school in 1969 and 1970.
Furlong launched a lawsuit against Robinson for defamation and she filed a counter lawsuit, alleging he had damaged her reputation in public statements after the article was published.
Furlong dropped his legal action against Robinson when the last of three lawsuits alleging sexual abuse was dismissed, but Robinson pressed ahead with her action.
The Canadian Press