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John Furlong files suit alleging reporter's article part of campaign to discredit him

VANCOUVER -- John Furlong's statement of claim in a defamation case against a weekly newspaper in Vancouver alleges a reporter who accused him of abusing students wrote the article as part of a malicious campaign to discredit him.

Furlong is suing the Georgia Straight newspaper, reporter Laura Robinson, publisher Daniel McLeod and editor Charlie Smith for an article that was published on Sept. 27.

The article quoted eight former students who alleged Furlong was physically and verbally abusive while he was a volunteer teacher in northern B.C. in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Furlong's statement of claim denies all of the allegations, and says his lawyers warned Robinson and the newspaper several times they would face legal action if they published the article.

The statement of claim also says Robinson contacted Furlong's associates with the allegations before and after the article in an attempt to discredit him.

Neither the newspaper nor the reporter have commented on the statement of claim, but in the past they've defended the article.

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