Furlong lawyer didn’t answer questions: journalist
VANCOUVER – A freelance journalist says she exchanged scores of emails with John Furlong’s lawyer in the spring of 2012 but received no answers to her questions about Furlong’s past in Burns Lake, B.C.
Laura Robinson is suing the former Vancouver Olympics CEO for defamation over public comments Furlong made after she published an article alleging he abused students while teaching at a B.C. residential school over four decades ago.
She told the civil trial that Furlong’s lawyer, Marvin Storrow, issued a flat denial of the allegations but didn’t answer questions and instead demanded all the information she had collected on Furlong’s past.
Robinson says she eventually sent Storrow six of eight sworn affidavits from former students alleging abuse.
She also sent him a photograph of Furlong working as a national women’s basketball coach in Ireland in 1975, which appeared to contradict a claim in his autobiography that he arrived in Canada in 1974.
The Ontario-based journalist says she and the Georgia Straight newspaper tried to find a media partner for the story, but the CBC pursued a different angle and the Toronto Star pulled out, before the article was finally published in the Straight in September 2012.