Justin Trudeau Claims He Doesn’t Remember A 'Negative Interaction' After Allegations That He Groped A Reporter In 2000

Oftentimes Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is commended for his charming smile and his compassionate attitude and stance on many world issues. He’s described as an ardent feminist against sexual harassment, and is usually considered to be the opposite of Trump in every way — but maybe not anymore.

Trudeau has been accused of groping a young reporter almost two decades ago at a music festival in 2000. Originally published in a community newspaper in British Columbia, it has been recently gaining a lot of attention online.

Trudeau reportedly apologized for “inappropriately handling” and “groping” the woman reporter, and said “I’m sorry. If I had known you were reporting for a national paper, I would never have been so forward.” The publisher of the newspaper Valerie Bourne told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that she witnessed the incident and called it “a brief touch.” “I would not classify it or qualify it as sexual assault,” she said, but the reporter was still visibly “distressed” by the interaction.

The paper’s then-editor Brian Bell told the CDC that “whatever physical touch or whatever had occurred in that moment was definitely not welcome and definitely inappropriate.”

In a statement to Buzzfeed News in June, the prime minister’s press secretary Matt Pascuzzo said that Trudeau “has always been very careful to treat everyone with respect.” He remembers attending the music festival, but claims that “doesn’t think he had any negative interactions there.” On Sunday, Trudeau was asked about the allegations again, and still claims to “not remember any negative interactions that day.”

Even though Trudeau cannot remember the interaction, it doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. Because he is a man who prides himself in championing women’s right and the outlawing of sexual misconduct, this conversation over his own sexual misconduct surely won’t be dropped anytime soon.