Rose Knight, a former journalist for the Creston Valley Advance, issued a statement today regarding the incident in 2000 in which she claims that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau groped her. According to USA Today, Knight issued a statement to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on Friday.
“I issue this statement reluctantly, in response to mounting media pressure to confirm that I was the reporter who was the subject of the Open Eyes editorial, published in the Creston Valley Advance. The incident referred to in the editorial did occur, as reported. Mr. Trudeau did apologize the next day,” Knight said, referring to an article that described the incident which allegedly occurred in Kokanee Summit Festival in Creston, British Columbia. The article states that Trudeau apologized for “inappropriately handling the reporter while she was on assignment.” Allegedly, Trudeau apologized.
“If I had known you were reporting for a national paper, I never would have been so forward.”
Knight said she wouldn’t characterize the alleged incident as an assault, but more like a “touch.” One of Knight’s former coworkers, Valerie Bourne, recalls the incident and how Knight reacted after it occurred. “She came to me because she was unsettled by it. 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.”
Though the article was written years ago, it went viral after Calgary law professor and author Warren Kinsella.
The article caused a massive backlash against the Prime Minister and his father, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. When asked about the incident, Prime Minister Trudeau said he didn’t “remember any negative interactions that day at all.”
“Part of this awakening we’re having a society, a long-awaited realization is that it’s not just one side of the story that matters, that the same interactions could be experienced very differently from one person to the next, and I am not going to speak for the woman in question.”
Trudeau also added that though he did not believe he acted inappropriately, he believes that “someone else might have experienced that differently.”
Knight also expressed her desire for privacy for herself and her family at this time. She said she will not comment further on her statement or the incident.
“The debate, if it continues, will continue without my involvement.”