Because it was inappropriate.
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave his most detailed response yet Thursday to an 18-year-old allegation he groped a female reporter, confirming he had apologized to the woman at the time but saying he didn’t feel he had acted “in any way untoward.”
Facing reporters at Queen’s Park after his first meeting with new Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Trudeau offered a more elaborate reflection on the allegation for the first time since it resurfaced in the past months.
“I’ve been reflecting very carefully on what I remember from that incident almost 20 years ago,” he said. “I do not feel that I acted inappropriately in any way. But I respect the fact that someone else might have experienced that differently.”
Justin Trudeau at the second annual Kokanee Summit in Creston, B.C., on Aug. 6, 2000. Handout
The groping allegation was the subject of a short editorial in an August, 2000 edition of the Creston Valley Advance, a small-town newspaper in Creston, B.C.
That August Trudeau attended the Kokanee Summit festival, an event held by a local brewery, to accept a donation of $18,500 towards his family’s campaign to build a new public backcountry cabin in the nearby provincial park in memory of his brother Michel, who died there in 1998 after an avalanche swept him into a lake while skiing. An editorial the Advance published after the festival accused Trudeau, then still years away from a career in politics, of the “inappropriate handling” and “groping” of a young female reporter for the paper who had covered the festival. It also described his apology to her the following day.