12:52 GMT +317 November 2019
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    Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reflected in a monitor while speaking during a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 20, 2018

    'I Had a Good Day That Day': Trudeau Denies Malfeasance Amid Groping Accusations

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    Canada's prime minister has again struck down allegations that he groped a female reporter at a music festival in Creston, British Columbia, in 2000.

    "I remember that day in Creston well," Trudeau said, speaking to reporters in Regina, Saskatchewan. "I had a good day that day. I don’t remember any negative interactions that day at all." 

    Trudeau was accused of "groping" and "inappropriately handling" a young female reporter in an unsigned editorial, which appeared in the Creston Valley Advance newspaper after the music festival. 

    The editorial said that the 18-year-old woman felt "blatantly disrespected" by Trudeau, who was then 28-years-old. It also claimed that Trudeau apologized for the incident and said: "If I had known you were reporting for a national paper, I would have never been so forward."

    Valerie Bourne, the publisher of the Creston Valley Advance at the time of the incident, told CBC that the unnamed reporter was "unsettled" by what happened, but said she would not qualify it as a sexual assault. "She wasn't sure how she should proceed with it because of course we're talking somebody who was known to the Canadian community," she said.

    Former Creston Valley Advance editor Brian Bell corroborated the incident, saying there was "no question" in his mind that what was alluded to in the editorial "did happen."

    CBC spoke to the alleged groping victim earlier this year. She informed them that she was not interested in being associated with the story and asked not to be contacted again.

    This is the second time in recent weeks that the media have brought up Trudeau's alleged groping incident, with the prime minister's office sending out a statement last month that the prime minister "doesn't think he had any negative interactions" in Creston in 2000.

    The alleged incident sharply divided Canadians into two camps on social media, with supporters calling it a "planted story."

    Critics were less forgiving, pointing to Trudeau's defense record of women's rights and suggesting that he was being hypocritical.

    Others joked about how robotic Trudeau's "negative interactions" comment sounded.


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