The anonymous woman who accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of groping her nearly two decades ago has come forward, with former journalist Rose Knight identifying herself as the woman at the centre of the controversy in a new statement about the alleged incident.
In a statement issued on Friday, Knight — who points out that she does “not intend to issue any further statements or participate in any interviews” — writes that the incident “did occur, as reported,” revealing she was indeed the subject of the controversial 2000 editorial that recently resurfaced.
The anonymous editorial appeared in the Creston Valley Advance after the Kokanee Summit in Creston, B.C., accusing Trudeau (then 28) of “groping” and “inappropriately handling” a young female reporter who was covering the music festival. Without offering details of what occurred, the editorial stated that the woman felt “blatantly disrespected” by the future PM.
In addition, the editorial alleged that Trudeau offered the following “apology” after the event. “I’m sorry,” he is quoted as telling the woman. “If I had known you were reporting for a national paper I never would have been so forward.”
In her statement, Knight writes that she issues the statement “reluctantly.” She “did not pursue the incident at the time and will not be pursuing the incident further,” she writes, explaining that she didn’t issue a statement earlier “out of concern for my family’s privacy.”
In addition, she says she has “had no subsequent contact with Mr. Trudeau, before or after he became Prime Minister.”
On Thursday, Trudeau addressed the allegation. “Again, I’ve been reflecting on the actual interaction and if I apologized later, then it would be because I sensed that she was not entirely comfortable with the interaction that we had,” Trudeau said.
“Like I said, I’ve been working very hard to try and piece it together, and even when the original editorial came out at the time I was fairly confident, I was very confident, that I hadn’t acted in a way that I felt was in any way inappropriate,” he added.