Twitter

TVO host calls sexual harassment allegations false

TVO host breaks silence, says sexual harassment allegation 100 per cent false

A veteran journalist with Ontario’s public broadcaster fired back and denied a sexual harassment allegation made by a Toronto woman, calling the claim ”complete fiction.”

Steve Paikin, host of TVOntario’s flagship current events program “The Agenda,” broke his silence Tuesday with an extensive statement on Facebook, where he said he was “gobsmacked” by the allegation outlined to him in an email from his accuser over the weekend.

RELATED: Ontario Tory Leader Patrick Brown resigning amid allegations about conduct

“Even though I knew the allegations were 100 per cent false, I did what I suspected was the appropriate thing to do and immediately passed the email on to my superiors at TVO,” Paikin wrote. ”I knew the charges were bogus, but I knew I owed it to my employer to be totally transparent about all of it.”

Paikin said he spent two hours Sunday with TVO management and its lawyers “answering every imaginable question.”

His comments come after TVO announced Monday that an independent third party will investigate the allegations, during which time Paikin will continue to host “The Agenda.”

Paikin commended the broadcaster Tuesday for bringing in the investigator, adding that “I have no doubt that a thorough and fair analysis of the allegations and the parties involved will point to the truth.”

Paikin and TVO have said the claims were mounted by former Toronto mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson, who Paikin said he has known professionally for more than a decade.

In a post Friday on Thomson’s website Women’s Post, she wrote that a political talk show host, who she did not identify, “asked me if I would sleep with him” after attending a lunch at a Toronto restaurant in 2010. She said her assistant was present for the meeting.

She said she “politely” declined his offer, then went to the washroom and called her campaign manager, who advised her to leave, which she said she did.

Thomson has not responded to requests for comment from The Canadian Press.

Before Paikin released his Facebook statement, Thomson tweeted Tuesday, “Women don’t come forward because they get attacked on social media. Did Paikin go public to scare other women from coming forward? Sad how easily he’s playing people.”

The allegation comes amid a social justice movement under the #MeToo and Time’s Up banners, which has sparked an international conversation on sexual misconduct, harassment and assault.

RELATED: #MeToo: Women tell stories of sexual assault and harassment on social media

Paikin said the movement is “too important to be undermined by spurious allegations. The only good thing about this has been receiving the huge number of emails and phone calls from people who believe me and are prepared to say so publicly.”

He said he wrote the statement independent of TVO and his lawyers, and that he has had trouble sleeping since the allegation was made.

RELATED: Silence Breakers named Time magazine’s Person of the Year

“You’ve defamed me Sarah. I have no idea why, but you have. And I simply can’t allow that to stand,” he wrote. ”The quest to reclaim my reputation, which you’ve tried to destroy, begins now. I look forward to vindication.”

Daniela Germano, The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. Headlines in a previous version said Steve Paikin responded to sexual assault allegations. In fact, he is responding to a sexual harassment allegation.

Just Posted

Bowser residents protest marine sewage outfall plan

Veenhof and staff endures harsh criticisms at public information meeting

Qualicum Beach society goes to bat for insect eaters

Two bat houses built to monitor population in Heritage Forest

Parksville reopens portion of wetland

City undertakes review, remediation of liability concerns

Is Steve Nash Vancouver Island’s best athlete of all-time?

As Captain Canada gets ready to enter basketball’s Hall of Fame it’s time to debate his legacy

Who is Vancouver Island’s greatest athlete ever?

We want to know, you get to choose in a 64-athlete tournament bracket

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Rachel Notley to skip premiers conference to focus on pipeline deal

Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline project until it receives assurances

B.C. tech company will power Uber Elevate

Moli and Uber announce research and development partnership.

Olympian sues USA Swimming, saying it failed to protect her

Ariana Kukors Smith alleges her former coach Sean Hutchison began grooming her for sexual abuse at the age of 13

Defence minister thanks troops for B.C. flood relief work

Harjit Sajjan says not only was military response quick, support from locals has been ‘tremendous’

Still no sign of missing father in Cowichan Valley

Search group for Ben Kilmer now stands 40 SAR volunteers and another 100 friends and concerned community members

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

‘So grateful:’ Injured Bronco hockey player glad he’s alive, works on recovery

Ryan Straschnitzki was badly hurt in the accident: a spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and punctured lung

UPDATE: Woman dies in ocean accident near Tofino hours before daughter’s wedding

“We are so thankful to everyone who helped our mom.”

Most Read