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‘You’ve defamed me Sarah:’ Steve Paikin responds to harassment allegations

News Staff and The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Feb 7th, 2018

TVO host Steve Paikin has posted a message on Facebook denying accusations he sexually harassed a woman in 2010.

In the statement, Paikin says he was notified of the allegations on Saturday via an email he received from Sarah Thomson.

Thomson, a former Toronto mayoral candidate, made allegations on her website on the weekend that she had lunch with a talk show host who propositioned her during a lunch with her assistant.

“I’ve spent 35 years building my reputation,” Paikin says in his Facebook post. “In one fell swoop, these lies have prompted outrageous headlines and connected me to a story to which I have no business being connected.

“Sarah, you and I both know the incident you described never happened. It’s complete fiction. To be clear, I did not have sex, suggest, request, imply, or joke about having sex with you … The quest to reclaim my reputation, which you’ve tried to destroy, begins now. I look forward to vindication.”

“You’ve defamed me Sarah. I have no idea why, but you have.”

TVO CEO Lisa de Wilde announced an independent third-party investigation into the matter and said Paikin will continue as host of “The Agenda with Steve Paikin.”

The move comes amid a social justice movement under the #metoo and Time’s Up banners that have undone the careers of several personalities named in sexual harassment and misconduct allegations.

CTV News reporter Paul Bliss was suspended hours after a woman made a sexual misconduct allegation against him, while politician Patrick Brown resigned as leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party after two women accused him of sexual misconduct.

The former CBC Television correspondent is TVO’s best known personality, and has become a fixture of provincial and federal political coverage since joining the network in 1992.

He was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 2013.

 

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