Patrick Brown settles defamation lawsuit as he prepares CPC leadership bid

Politics

Patrick Brown has resolved his $8 million defamation lawsuit against CTV News over the network’s reporting on sexual misconduct allegations against him — but he received no money from the media outlet as part of the agreement.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown has consistently denied the allegations made against him. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Patrick Brown has resolved his $8 million defamation lawsuit against CTV News over the network's reporting on sexual misconduct allegations against him — but he received no money from the media outlet as part of the agreement.

Explosive claims of misconduct by Brown derailed his political career in 2018, pushing him to resign as leader of Ontario's Progressive Conservatives. He has consistently denied the allegations.

The lawsuit is being resolved just days before he is expected to launch his bid for the Conservative party leadership.

Much of CTV's reporting on the misconduct allegations made by two women against Brown remains on the network's website, but stories have been amended with a disclaimer about errors in an initial report and the legal settlement.

"There was no money exchanged as part of this," said Tammy Scott, senior vice-president of communications for CTV parent company Bell.

Scott declined further comment on the timing and substance of the agreement with Brown.

'Key details' were inaccurate: CTV

CTV does acknowledge in the disclaimer on its reporting that it published "key details" that were factually incorrect and have since been corrected.

"CTV National News regrets including those details in the story and any harm this may have caused to Mr. Brown," the disclaimer reads.

One of the women who came forward against Brown reportedly said initially that she was underage when Brown approached her. CTV later changed its story to reflect what it called the woman's "revised recollection of her age at the time of the alleged events," which was 19 years old.

Brown — a former federal Conservative MP who now serves as mayor of Brampton, Ont. — was asked about the settlement Wednesday morning.

He praised his wife and sisters for their support.

"I'm very grateful that they were incredible, standing by my side though a very difficult period and I'm very happy this is behind me and I'm looking forward to the future," he said.

Decision on leadership run coming 'very soon'

Brown's supporters have gone further, suggesting the settlement with CTV amounts to total exoneration.

"He refused to fall victim to cancel culture because he is a fighter, and today he proved it again," said one person who is likely to be a member of Brown's campaign team.

Brown is expected to announce his bid to lead the federal Conservatives later this week, a source told CBC News.

When asked by a reporter if he's running, Brown said he'll make a decision "very soon."

"I certainly believe I need to make a decision in the coming days given that the race has already started. But you'll have to stay tuned," he said.

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