Former Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown is fighting back against CTV News — three weeks after the network’s reporting cost him his job.
“CTV News fabricated a malicious and false report about me from two anonymous accusers,” Brown said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
“After a long three weeks, CTV News has now admitted that it got it wrong. Initially, the reporter (and I use that term very loosely) claimed my first accuser was a high school student under legal drinking age,” the 39-year-old Simcoe North MPP wrote on Facebook.
“Running scared over its lousy reporting, CTV News now says my accuser was out of high school at the time and was of legal drinking age,” he continued.
“Clearly concerned about the backlash it has been receiving as a result of its biased and false reporting, CTV News is trying to change its story and claims the incident happened one year later. The significance of this changed story is monumental.”
Matthew Garrow, director of communications at CTV News, said the network “continues to stand by its reporting on Patrick Brown.”
“Patrick Brown’s allegations regarding our reporting are false. As we reported once again last night, the two women have reiterated their allegations of sexual misconduct by Patrick Brown,” said Garrow.
“His attacks on our journalistic practices are groundless and wrong. CTV News continues to ask Patrick Brown if he thinks the two women accusing him of sexual misconduct are lying. He has yet to respond,” he said.
“CTV News will continue to report on this matter undeterred by Patrick Brown’s groundless allegations.”
Brown has not responded to repeated messages from the Star seeking comment over the past three weeks.
Less than four hours after CTV broadcast its report on Jan. 24, he stepped down as leader after a conference call with Tory MPPs who said he had to go.
Sources told the Star that member after member castigated the PC leader for his poor judgment, which they feared could cost them the June 7 election.
“We’re not hanging up the phone until you’re gone as leader, Patrick,” one veteran MPP thundered at the beleaguered leader.
Caucus’s decision was made easier by the fact that six of Brown’s top aides had resigned earlier in the evening in protest of his refusal to quit when informed about the CTV allegations.
Brown lashed out at the national television network for “not even having the decency to come clean and admit that they recklessly published a poorly researched report,” he wrote on Facebook.
He accused CTV of “burying this new fact, hiding it in the middle of an online story.”
“In fact, CTV is doubling down on its terrible reporting, digging a deeper hole for itself, by featuring more of my accuser’s lies,” the former leader wrote on Facebook.
“I can also tell you that CTV News did not disclose last night that their reporter, Glen McGregor, called an acquaintance of mine yesterday to ask him if he had driven my first accuser to my home — a claim that was made by her. He categorically told CTV that this was completely untrue.”
Brown said on Facebook he “thought surely CTV News would report on my acquaintance’s evidence,” but did not.
“CTV chose not to report the truth because the facts contradict their phony, made up narrative. Here is my message to CTV News. You lied. You defamed me. I will not allow your brand of trashy journalism to hurt another person in this country.”
Blasting the two women who alleged sexual impropriety against him when they were teenagers and he was a Barrie MP, Brown wrote that he had a “message to my accusers.”
“If you truly stand by your allegations, then I urge you to contact Barrie Police and have them lay charges, Barrie police can be reached at 705-725-7025. These types of allegations should be dealt with in a proper and fair forum.”
Stressing “this is not over,” Brown said he has been humbled by the “the dozens of candidates and caucus members, thousands of Ontario PC Party members and tens of thousands of Ontarians who have supported me and my family through this very difficult time,” he wrote on Facebook.