John Furlong’s testimony at the trial in which he’s accused of defamation ended today with the head of Vancouver’s Olympic organizing team continuing to insist he’s the victim of a smear campaign by a careless journalist.
Furlong defended claims Laura Robinson’s 2012 article alleging he abused First Nations children more than 45 years ago in Burns Lake was based on lies.
He also still believes she pressured one former student to file a sexual abuse complaint with the RCMP.
Furlong was surrounded by some of his own children as he left the courthouse.
“It was a difficult, obviously challenging day, but it was very important for me to have my children here with me and to give me an opportunity to clarify things today with them present.”
After Furlong stepped down, another male authority who threatened to sue Laura Robinson after she published an article containing unproven allegations about him took the stand.
“She didn’t have to go and accuse me of being a racist.”
Former national basketball coach Ken Shields says Robinson falsely accused him of choosing white players over black players in a 1994 Globe and Mail she was later forced to retract.
“When someone says, you had racial bias in selecting a team to represent Canada to go to the world championships, that is, I mean, a damning, damning indictment.”
Shields, who admits he’s known Furlong for years, says he has no idea if the man he considers a friend defamed Robinson, but there’s no doubt she defamed Shields 21 years ago.
Furlong’s testimony lasted two days and the trial is slated to wrap up this week.
The trial resumes at 10am Wednesday.