More allegations surface in VANOC boss lawsuit

Former VANOC CEO John Furlong makes statement during a new conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Thursday September 27, 2012.



VANCOUVER -- A journalist hit with a defamation lawsuit by John Furlong said she planned to write two more articles claiming the former Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) boss raped his common-law wife and groped at least two female students during his early years in northern BC.

In her formal response to the lawsuit filed by Furlong in B.C. Supreme Court, Georgia Straight freelancer Laura Robinson alleges that in addition to the groping, there were accounts of verbal and physical abuse by Furlong during his secretive time in Burns Lake, BC, more than 40 years ago.

"At the end of PE (physical education) classes, he would ask her to stay by herself and would caress her face and say, ‘You're my prodigy, you're my favourite out of all the girls'," the document states, detailing an incident in which the girl's breasts were also grabbed.

Another time, a 13-year-old girl was followed to a "small dark" equipment room where she had her crotch grabbed and her shorts ripped, according to the document.

In her response, Robinson claims she'd also gathered additional, unpublished material on students' experiences with Furlong when he was an instructor.

She was also contacted by Furlong's former common-law wife after Robinson's first story broke in September.

"The plaintiff raped her many times," the document states. "On one occasion, a discussion escalated into a screaming episode and resulted in the plaintiff shoving her against the wall and causing her to fall down the stairs."

The fall broke the common-law wife's nose and loosened a tooth, it states.

Robinson additionally said Furlong's suggestion she had a "personal vendetta" against him was an "attack," noting they'd only spoken three times.

Furlong has publicly denied all the abuse allegations. He filed suit against Robinson and her publishers in November.

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