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Reporter escalates attacks on Furlong

VANCOUVER - The reporter behind a newspaper article that accused former Olympic CEO John Furlong of abusing students at a B.C. school four decades ago has included explosive new allegations in her statement of defence that Furlong physically abused a former spouse and sexually abused another.

None of the allegations have been tested in court, and Furlong, who denied any wrongdoing at a news conference the day the article was published, declined to comment through a spokeswoman.

Furlong sued after Laura Robinson authored a story for the Georgia Straight newspaper, which published allegations from eight former students that Furlong was physically and verbally abusive while he was a volunteer teacher in northern B.C. in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Robinson has now filed her statement of defence, insisting the article was accurate and also accusing Furlong of abusing his former wife and former common-law spouse.

The statement of defence alleges that since Robinson's article was published, Furlong's former common law spouse, who he lived with in Nanaimo in the late 1970s and early 1980s, contacted Robinson and alleged Furlong "physically, emotionally and sexually" abused her.

The statement of defence also alleges that several students heard Furlong and his wife fighting, and the following day his wife had a bruised face and swollen eyes.

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