Former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown says he's contemplating legal action to restore his reputation in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations, which he calls "absolute lies."
Brown, who had already strongly denied the allegations, gave his first interview since stepping down from his position last month to the Postmedia news agency.
In what the outlet calls an "emotional interview," Brown compares his experience of being accused of sexual misconduct to "getting hit by a truck."
He says the incidents alleged by two women in a CTV News report "didn't happen," and he suggests being forced to resign as leader just months before a provincial election was akin to "frontier justice."
Brown told Postmedia he's "strongly considering a legal recourse."
I am immensely grateful for all the support expressed to my family and myself. #metoo can be a tool to lift society and I applaud that effort.— Patrick Brown (@brownbarrie) February 6, 2018
False allegations however undermine that good work.
The truth will come out.
Thank you to all.
The former PC leader broke his silence earlier in the week with a brief message posted on Twitter, saying he was "immensely grateful" for the support he and his family received.
His sister, Stephanie Brown, has also denounced the allegations, which have not been verified by The Canadian Press, as a "political hit."
Brown stepped down in late January just hours after an emotional late-night news conference in which he vowed to fight the allegations.
A few days later he was asked to take a leave of absence from caucus and the party's interim leader, Vic Fedeli, said he would not sign Brown's nomination papers for the province's spring election if the allegations still stood at campaign time.
Hastily planned leadership race
Brown's resignation forced the PC's to hastily plan a leadership race that will be held before the June general vote.
So far, three high-profile candidates have entered the contest for the party's top job, including the politician who came second to Brown in the last leadership race.
Christine Elliott, a former Ontario legislator, launched her campaign last week, days after former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford announced his bid.
Elliott was asked at the Manning conference in Ottawa whether Brown would have a political future in an Elliott-led PC party.
She said Brown has the right to defend himself and if he's able to clear his name, she'd have no problem with him as a candidate in the next election.
Caroline Mulroney, a Toronto lawyer and the daughter of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, also threw her hat in the ring last weekend.
Results coming next month
Votes will be placed online in early March, with the results announced on March 10.
The party has also had to grapple with the resignation of its president, Rick Dykstra, in the face of reported sexual assault allegations that he denies.
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