Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday responded to claims that he groped a reporter when he was 28 years old.
“I do not feel that I acted inappropriately in any way, but I respect the fact that someone else might have experienced that differently,” Trudeau said. “Often a man experiences an interaction as being benign or not inappropriate and a woman, particularly in a professional context, can experience it differently. We have to respect that.”
Trudeau has said he didn’t know at the time that the woman, whose identity is not known, was a journalist.
The groping allegations first surfaced in an unsigned editorial published in August 2000. Canadian political commentator Warren Kinsella tweeted a photo of the editorial last month along with the hashtag #MeToo, which reignited the conversation surrounding the allegations.
The piece said Trudeau apologized one day after the incident, but that the woman felt “blatantly disrespected.”