John Furlong files lawsuit against newspaper for abuse allegations

Associated Press

VANCOUVER - A lawyer for John Furlong says the former Vancouver Olympics CEO has filed a lawsuit against a weekly newspaper that published allegations that he physically and verbally abused First Nations students as a volunteer teacher in northern B.C.

A spokeswoman for Vancouver-based lawyer Marvin Storrow has issued a statement saying Furlong filed a statement of claim naming the Georgia Straight newspaper's owner, Vancouver Free Press Publishing Corp., reporter Laura Robinson, publisher Daniel McLeod and editor Charlie Smith.

The statement of claim is not yet available through the B.C. Supreme Court registry and Storrow declined to provide a copy.

In late September, the Georgia Straight published an article that cited eight former students who claimed Furlong was abusive while he was a physical education teacher at a school in Burns Lake, B.C., for more than a year beginning in 1969.

Furlong held a news conference denying he abused any students, and at the time was also forced to deny a CBC report that quoted a woman who said she recently recovered memories of sexual abuse.

None of the defendants named in the lawsuit have returned calls seeking comment.

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