Canada’s CTV News reported that Canadian politician Patrick Brown was accused of sexual misconduct. Now, Brown is suing CTV over the reporting, which he calls “false, malicious, irresponsible and defamatory.”
Brown resigned as leader of Ontario’s Tories party “just hours after CTV reported the allegations that he has categorically denied,” the Canadian Press reported.
A copy of Brown’s lawsuit is published on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s website. He sued over the Jan. 24 report, “Serious allegations against Patrick Brown,” “Women accuse Patrick Brown of sexual misconduct,” “Patrick Brown denies sexual misconduct allegations from two women, resigns as Ontario PC leader,” and “Patrick Brown accusers stand by allegations.”
CTV spokesperson Matthew Garrow told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “CTV News has received a notice of libel. CTV News stands by its reporting and will actively defend its journalism in court.”
Brown’s lawyer Julian Porter explained to iMediaEthics that the libel notice is the first step in the case, and that “litigation must be commenced within three months of January 24.”
Earlier this month, CTV acknowledged that “some of the facts” in its reporting about Brown were inaccurate, the BBC reported. For example, CTV originally reported that one woman accusing him met Brown in a bar when she was underage, which the CTV now says is wrong.
Brown’s lawsuit says that the stories “are false, malicious and defamatory” and have subjected him to ridicule, hatred and contempt.” Specifically, Brown says the articles alleged he “illegally provided alcohol to a person under the age of 19” and he “engaged in sexual misconduct.” Brown called for an apology and retraction.
This isn’t the first lawsuit against a media outlet for reporting sexual harassment or misconduct allegations. Actor Geoffrey Rush is suing Australia’s Daily Telegraph for reporting he had been accused of “inappropriate behavior.” Actor Craig McLachlan is suing Australia’s Fairfax Media and the Australian Broadcasting Corp. for reporting on accusations of sexual harassment against him.
Hat Tip: Sean O’Shea