Furlong drops defamation suit, but journalist will pursue countersuit

The Globe and Mail

Vancouver — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Mar. 31 2015

John Furlong, the former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, has dropped a defamation suit against journalist Laura Robinson, saying the dismissal of three sexual abuse cases against him have proved his innocence.

But Ms. Robinson, who in 2012 wrote an article claiming Mr. Furlong physically and verbally abused students at an aboriginal school in 1969-70, says she’s going ahead with a countersuit against him.

“My suit is about an attack on my integrity and professional conduct as a journalist. It has never been about these three cases,” Ms. Robinson said Tuesday in an e-mail. “I look forward to my June 15, 2015, court date. I am pleased that the lawsuit against me has been dropped. I stand by the research and work that I did.”

Mr. Furlong sued her after the article appeared, and she launched a countersuit soon after, saying that in responding to the article he had defamed her.

Following those events three people, including a woman quoted in Ms. Robinson’s article, came forward with allegations that Mr. Furlong had sexually abused them at Immaculata Roman Catholic Elementary School in Burns Lake, B.C., in 1969-70.

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