Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made his first direct response to allegations that he groped a female reporter at an event 18 years ago, saying he doesn’t recall any “negative interactions.”
Trudeau made the comments in response to a reporter’s question at an event in Regina, SK, on Sunday, CNN reports.
The groping allegedly took place at the Kokanee Summit festival in Creston, B.C., on Aug. 4, 2000.
An unsigned editorial in the Aug. 14 issue of the Creston Valley Advance accuses Trudeau, 28 at the time, of “inappropriately handling” the reporter while she was on assignment. The editorial does not include any other details.
Here is a slightly better quality image of an editorial in the August 14, 2000 Creston Valley Advance, a local B.C. paper, which claims Justin Trudeau apologized for "inappropriately handling" (or "groping" in the paper's words) a female reporter. pic.twitter.com/fZ748QqWYX
— 🇧🇪🍺🎷🍟🏰🍫🇧🇪 (@sdbcraig) June 7, 2018
On Sunday, Trudeau said: “I remember that day in Creston well … I had a good day that day; I don’t remember any negative interactions that day at all.”
According to CBC, the reporter who made the allegations has requested that she not be named in any story about the incident, and said she was not interested in being associated with any further coverage. She has not made any comments to other news outlets.
Brian Bell, the paper’s editor at the time, told CBC that he didn’t think the reporter was traumatized or distraught by the incident, “but definitely that, whatever physical touch or whatever had occurred in that moment was definitely not welcome and definitely inappropriate.”