Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he didn't "remember any negative interactions" on the day in 2000 when he's accused of groping a reporter at a festival in British Columbia.
Allegations against Trudeau re-surfaced last week when a Calgary law professor posted a picture of an article claiming the then-teacher engaged in inappropriately "handling" a reporter. The story didn’t have a byline.
“I remember that day in Creston well,” Trudeau said on Sunday. “I had a good day that day. I don’t remember any negative interactions that day at all.”
The story originally appeared in the editorial section of the Creston Daily Advance, according to The Guardian. Trudeau at the time was 28 years old and was helping raise money at the British Columbia event to support avalanche safety after his brother had died in one in 1998.
The woman said she felt “blatantly disrespected” at the time, though the story didn’t offer many specifics about the incident, according to The Guardian.
“I’m sorry,” Trudeau allegedly told the woman at the time. “If I had known you were reporting for a national paper, I never would have been so forward.”
"I don’t remember any negative interactions that day at all."
The reporter was distressed about the alleged incident with Trudeau, Valerie Bourne, the paper’s former publisher, told CBC News. Bourne added she wouldn’t have classified the encounter as “sexual assault.”
“She didn’t like what had happened. She wasn’t sure how she should proceed with it, because of course we’re talking [about] somebody who was known to the Canadian community,” Bourne said.
Brian Bell, the editor of the paper at the time, believed the reporter, he told CBC News.
“I certainly believe that it happened," her said. "This reporter was of a high character in my opinion and was professional in the way she conducted herself, and there’s no question in my mind that what was alluded to, written about in that editorial, did happen."