OTTAWA — New Democrat MP Christine Moore says she and her family have been left reeling over a former soldier's accusations of sexual impropriety, but that she intends to fight to clear her name and ensure the truth gets out.
The comments came Monday during a news conference in her Quebec riding of Abitibi-Temiscamingue, which Moore has held since 2011, after retired corporal Glen Kirkland accused her last week of inappropriate behaviour.
Moore, who is married with two young children, told The Canadian Press in an exclusive interview last week that her relationship with Kirkland in 2013 was consensual, which she repeated during Monday's news conference.
"I loved him,'' Moore said in French. "He was very, very romantic with me and it was a consensual relationship. I have cried a lot about this. It's horrible to see just how ready or prepared a person can be to tell lies. I don't know why he's done this.''
Kirkland has denied that they were in a relationship and accused Moore of abusing her power as an MP to pursue an inappropriate relationship with him, though Moore says she has proof to back up her version of the story.
It's been a very, very tough week.Christine Moore
Moore, who appeared visibly weary during the news conference, said Kirkland's allegations have "had a terrible impact on my family, on my friends, on my health as well. It's been a very, very tough week.''
Among the difficulties, Moore said, were some "very, very evil messages'' from unidentified people, though she added that she had also received "nice messages'' from various people who supported her.
Asked specifically about the impact on her husband, Moore said: "It's very tough for him, I think. It's very tough to see people say this type of thing about his wife and not be able to react.
"What I need after this press conference is to just spend time with my family, with my husband, with my children. I need to stop crying and just live my life with them.''
Moore and Kirkland met on June 5, 2013, when Kirkland, who was injured in a Taliban ambush in 2008, testified at a parliamentary committee about the treatment of injured soldiers.
Kirkland has alleged Moore invited him back to her office after the committee meeting and plied him with alcohol before following him back to his hotel, where they had sex.
He alleges that she then continued to send him explicit messages for several weeks and even turned up unannounced at his Manitoba home before he forcibly told her to stop.
Moore, however, has disputed Kirkland's account, providing The Canadian Press with photos, emails, text messages and flight itineraries to show that the two were involved in a romantic relationship.
The MP, who has been suspended from her caucus duties pending an investigation, says she ended the relationship in October 2013 due to the geographic distance between them and Kirkland's difficult divorce.
Moore has threatened to sue Kirkland and several columnists who reported on his comments for defamation, while Kirkland told The Canadian Press that he was willing to take a lie-detector test.
With files from Mylene Crete