The freelance journalist suing John Furlong for defamation took the stand at the Vancouver trial on Tuesday.
Under questioning by her lawyer, Laura Robinson says she was “devastated” when she heard Furlong’s comments at a news conference in 2012 after she published her disturbing article.
The piece, published in the Georgia Straight newspaper, accused him of physically abusing students when he was teaching in northern B.C. more than 40 years ago.
In response, Furlong claims to reporters that she had a personal vendetta against him.
Robinson told the court the most “shocking” part was hearing him suggest that she was part of an attempt to blackmail him for money.
She says she lost sleep over Furlong’s comments and she decided to sue him after he refused to issue an apology.
Later in the morning, Robinson testified that she lots huge amounts of money as a result of Furlong’s comments.
She says she earned more than $50,000 in 2011, but after her article came out and the former VANOC CEO responded, she lost several speaking engagements and spent $150,000 defending herself.
Last year, her total income was less than $11,000.