Justin Trudeau: I ‘don’t remember’ groping reporter

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been accused of groping a reporter 18 years ago — but claims he doesn’t recall any “negative interactions” from that day, reports said.

At a fundraiser to support avalanche safety in 2000, Trudeau, then 28, was accused of “groping” and “inappropriately handling” a young female reporter who was covering the event for the Creston Valley Advance, CBC News reported.

The woman, who was not named in the article, is believed to have written an editorial about the alleged incident after the event, which is the only record of it, the outlet reported. The editorial suggested the woman felt “blatantly disrespected” but did not provide specific details about what occurred.

Valeria Bourne, who was the publisher of the paper at the time, remembered the event and said the reporter was “distressed” by her contact with Trudeau but would not consider it sexual assault.

“My recollections of the conversation were that 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 somebody who was known to the Canadian community,” Bourne said.

The paper’s editor at the time, Brian Bell, said he remembered thinking that something untoward happened to his reporter that day.

“I don’t recall that the reporter was coming across as having been traumatized or distraught about it, but definitely that, whatever physical touch or whatever had occurred in that moment was definitely not welcome and definitely inappropriate,” Bell told the CBC.

“I certainly believe that it happened, this reporter was of a high character in my opinion and was professional in the way she conducted herself and there’s no question in my mind that what was alluded to, written about in that editorial, did happen.”

During a campaign stop over the weekend, Trudeau, who’s been an outspoken advocate for women of the #MeToo movement, denied any wrongdoing.

“I remember that day in Creston well,” Trudeau told reporters over the weekend.

“I had a good day that day; I don’t remember any negative interactions that day at all.”

However, the editorial written about the event claims Trudeau offered a half-hearted apology the day after the event.

“I’m sorry,” he was quoted saying.

“If I had known you were reporting for a national paper I never would have been so forward.”

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