In the latest volley of words and legal actions, Laura Robinson has filed a lawsuit against John Furlong for damaging her reputation. The accusations leveled by Furlong (that Robinson was waging a personal vendetta, that she was guilty of falsifying, that she accused him of rape) against Robinson have not proven to be substantive. They have, instead, prevented the journalist from making a living through her writing. His attorneys have avoided bringing ‘the case’ against her to court, opting, it appears, to break Robinson without dealing with the issues she has raised in her Georgia Straight article. By suing Furlong and establishing a trial date on March 30, 2015, Robinson will force him to defend his allegations and his denials in court. The injustice here is the way the powerful, with expensive legal assistance, can utilize the law as a weapon against the truth. This trial should take place next week if justice were to be served.
One of the almost humourous–were it not for the actual circumstances of the case–tactics adopted by Furlong and friends is the not-so-subtle attempt to resurrect his reputation. Furlong has been chosen as one of ‘eight brilliant minds” to present at a leadership conference in February. The title of this conference, which includes a luminary like Chris Hadfield, has been plagiarized from Harvard University’s conference of the same name. While Robinson cannot ply her trade, Furlong can continue to be on boards of directors and to make public appearances. If the allegations by eight First Nations people (and others) are true, that Furlong is an aggressive, abusive bully, who has made racist taunts against First Nations people, one can see that justice tends to serve the rich and powerful.
Once again, had Furlong chosen at the outset to acknowledge his past wrongs as the indiscretions of youth, he would certainly have been forgiven in light of the work he did for the 2010 Olympics. We’ve all done stupid and regrettable things in our lives. What he’s done here through his denials and legal bullying is to open a sore, a weeping blister, that will continue to rankle until the case is settled, and that may in time result in the destruction of his carefully cultivated persona. “Oh what a tangled web we weave…”