Patrick Brown accusers stand by allegations
OTTAWA — The two women who accused former Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown of sexual misconduct are not backing down despite a concerted effort to refute their allegations and discredit them publicly with the help of a hired private investigator.
“I stand absolutely by the truth of what I said to CTV. There is nothing in what Patrick Brown alleges that undermines the core truth of what I have experienced with him,” said the woman who accused Brown of dropping his pants and telling her to perform oral sex in his home about 10 years ago, a claim he denies.
The first accuser said she’s been besieged by vicious comments online, including pictures posted on Twitter in an attempt to reveal her identity.
“The comments made about me on social media were demeaning, victim-blaming and misogynistic. My privacy was invaded, my character was assassinated, and I was subjected to gratuitous slurs about my private life and relationships. The comments that I have been subjected to ignore altogether the abuse of power by an older sober man over a young intoxicated woman,” she said.
She now says that she was of legal drinking age and out of high school. Brown was a Conservative member of Parliament at the time of the alleged incident.
It has been a painful ordeal, her lawyer David Butt said.
“Just the backlash, the misogyny, the hatred, the online trolling of false, demeaning and very hurtful things has really taken a toll,” he told CTV News in an interview.
In a statement addressing the first accuser’s timeline, Butt said: “These are the sorts of collateral details that inevitably fade over time… These sorts of issues arise routinely in historical cases and cannot be blamed on survivors, because coming forward is such a difficult act for which it often takes years to gather the strength and courage.”
On Sunday, Brown posted a Facebook message saying he’d been investigating the allegations and “can prove they are false.”
Alise Mills, a conservative communications advisor helping him, said “forensic analysts” are probing the claims.
“Patrick has hired someone to do the forensics, a P.I., he’s got a very strong legal team,” Mills said in an interview on an Ottawa radio station.
The first accuser maintains the incident happened during a visit to Brown’s home with a mutual friend.
That friend told CTV News he has no recollection of the night.
The first accuser said Brown offered her a tour that ended in his upstairs bedroom.
Brown claims the incident was “factually impossible” because, at the time, he was living in a one floor apartment.
So I kind of came to, frantic, like ‘you need to let me out, I’m leaving,'” the first accuser said.
She ran out the door and down the street to a friend’s home. It was on the same block as the two-storey home Brown bought in 2007.
That friend remembers the night clearly.
“She called me back and just said, ‘He whipped it out, I’m uncomfortable, I’m coming over.’ I said, ‘OK,’ because he’s on the same street as my parents,” her friend told CTV News.
In that same home, a second allegation, from a former employee of Brown’s who was 19 and in first-year university. She alleged the then-35-year-old MP got on top of her and tried to kiss her when she was very drunk.
Brown said that she was the aggressor.
“It was she who tried to kiss me, while the woman I was seeing was in another room,” Brown said in his Facebook post.
“I stopped her immediately and offered to drive her home, which I did,” Brown said.
In a further attempt to disprove the allegations, Brown claims one of the women had a personal relationship with a CTV reporter who worked on the story.
CTV News took steps before publication and broadcast to ensure there was no previous contact with any of the journalists that would influence the reporting.
“I continue to stand by the detailed account of these events that I have previously provided to CTV,” the second accuser said in a statement to CTV News.
CTV News asked Brown today if he thinks the two women accusing him of sexual misconduct are lying. He has not responded.
— With files from CTV News’ Senior Political Correspondent Glen McGregor and Online Politics Producer Rachel Aiello
Full statement from first Brown accuser
“I stand absolutely by the truth of what I said to CTV.
There is nothing in what Patrick Brown alleges that undermines the core truth of what I have experienced with him.
I am not prepared to engage in a tit for tat in the media about the precise details of how I was victimized, beyond what I already disclosed to CTV.
I can say that going public with this incident has exposed me to verbal abuse that no human being deserves.
The comments made about me on social media were demeaning, victim-blaming and misogynistic. My privacy was invaded, my character was assassinated, and I was subjected to gratuitous slurs about my private life and relationships.
The comments that I have been subjected to ignore altogether the abuse of power by an older sober man over a young intoxicated woman in this case. The comments construct a false, discriminatory and cruel misrepresentation of the truly debilitating stress the women who are subjected to sexualized abuses of power have to endure.
I made my experience public because I wanted to help other women feel safe in coming forward themselves. Instead, what I have experienced is cruel, uninformed backlash. This demonstrates that if we are to attain true gender equality, we still have a long way to go. As Canadian I am saddened with the reactions of far too many people on social media.
There are many, many people who still stand behind me, and I want to say thank you to them. This whole experience has been tremendously difficult for me. It is now time for me to focus on moving beyond this painful ordeal surrounded by those that care for me.”
Full statement from lawyer David Butt
“These are the sorts of collateral details that inevitably fade over time. Equally importantly, collateral detail witnesses themselves often have the same frailties of faded memory and/or their own reasons for giving answers that distance themselves from controversy. These sorts of issues arise routinely in historical cases and cannot be blamed on survivors, because coming forward is such a difficult act for which it often takes years to gather the strength and courage.”
Full statement from second Brown accuser
“Having read the statements made by Patrick Brown to Postmedia and in his Facebook post over the weekend, I continue to stand by the detailed account of these events that I have previously provided to CTV.”