Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has denied allegations of groping a woman reporter 18 years ago. The PM said on Sunday, “I remember that day in Creston well … I had a good day that day; I don’t remember any negative interactions that day at all.”

Trudeau has long been vocal on sexual harassment. The son of late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was headlined by an unsigned editorial, indicating that he apologized for inappropriate “handling” of the woman at the time in the Creston Valley Advance newspaper.

The editorial, which refused to provide any further details, said Trudeau “blatantly disrespected” the reporter

This time when he was briefly attending a fundraiser to support avalanche safety at an event in Regina, Saskatchewan, a reporter asked Trudeau about the allegations. He quickly made it clear that he doesn’t recall “any negative interactions that day at all”.

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This incident happened before Trudeau launched his political career. “As the Prime Minister has said before, he has always been very careful to treat everyone with respect. His first experiences with activism were on the issue of sexual assault at McGill (University), and he knows the importance of being thoughtful and respectful,” the PM’s office said, CNN reported.

The allegation fuelled last month when Canadian political commentator Warren Kinsella took to Twitter, posting a picture of the editorial and used the #MeToo hashtag.

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Valerie Bourne, former publisher of the Advance, spoke about the reporter in 2000, “My recollections of the conversation were that she came to me because she was unsettled by it. She didn’t like what had happened. She wasn’t sure how she should proceed with it because of course we’re talking somebody who was known to the Canadian community.”

Bourne said, “I would not classify it or qualify it as sexual assault.” But she said that Trudeau’s alleged actions were “definitely not welcome and definitely inappropriate”

When earlier this year, Trudeau was asked if any of his actions could have been misconstrued, he claimed, “I don’t think so.”

The Prime Minister later explained,  “I have been very, very careful all my life to be thoughtful, to be respectful of people’s space and people’s head space as well.”

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Feature Image Credit:IMDb.com

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