Last week NDP MP Christine Moore was suspended from caucus duties pending an investigation over sexual misconduct allegations by a Canadian veteran. This week she is denying the allegations and threatening a defamation lawsuit against the former soldier and the news outlets that brought the story to light.
Glen Kirkland, who served in Afghanistan, tells VICE News he just wanted to set the record straight.
“I just answered some questions,” Kirkland said over the phone Monday. “I didn’t put in a complaint against Ms. Moore. This is old news coming back.”
The allegations and counter-allegations are the latest in a string of reports of sexual misconduct involving political figures in Canada — but the first to be lodged against a woman, who had herself called out inappropriate behaviour by male colleagues.
In a column last week, CBC’s Neil MacDonald wrote that he had heard rumours and seen reports in Frank Magazine, so he called up the former soldier. Kirkland told him that on June 5, 2013, after he testified before the House of Commons standing committee on defence, Moore invited him to her office and offered him alcohol. He was on painkillers and antidepressants and told her he wasn’t supposed to drink, but says he thought it was OK because she said she was a nurse. Then she “followed” him back to her hotel, where he alleges she “spent the night.”
He told reporters the encounter was not non-consensual, but said she was in a position of power. Following that night, he alleges she sent him sexually explicit texts, and pursued him although he said he wasn’t interested.
In an interview with the Canadian Press, Moore says Kirkland’s story is a “total lie.” She and Kirkland were “lovers,” and had a four-month relationship, she says. “Maybe he lied to me and never loved me, but at the time I was sure we were lovers,” she told CP.
Moore told CP she invited a group of soldiers for drinks, including Kirkland. She says she couldn’t have “followed” him to his hotel because she was in the House of Commons until late in the evening on June 5, 2013. She told CP that she went to his hotel after that when he invited her by text message.
Moore says the former soldier’s allegations were reported last week in response to her calling out male MPs for alleged inappropriate behaviour.
In a January 31 email sent to caucus and addressed to NDP MP Erin Weir, Moore said female MPs had told her Weir had harassed them. “As a woman, I would not feel comfortable to meet with you alone,” she wrote in the email, obtained by VICE News. Moore also brought forward a complaint in 2014 against Liberal MP Massimo Pacetti . As a result of both those complaints, the male MPs were kicked out of caucus.
Moore says she plans to bring a defamation suit against Kirkland, CBC columnist Neil Macdonald, the National Post’s Christie Blatchford and the Toronto Star’s Rosie DiManno.
"My private life was exposed" she told CP. "My sex life was exposed. It was hard for me. It was hard for my family...for everyone around me."
Kirkland told VICE News that MacDonald had called him up last week asking about Moore because of the Erin Weir investigation.
There were media reports that Moore had beaten him with a lamp, which he says is not true, so he welcomed the opportunity to share his story, he said.
“I wanted to set the record straight because there were concerning statements that were apparently going around,” Kirkland told VICE News. “They didn’t make me look bad, they made Ms. Moore look bad. And that’s where I thought it was going to end, but clearly it didn’t.”
Moore’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment.