By Duncan Mackay

John Vancouver profileJanuary 22 - Former Vancouver 2010 President and chief executive John Furlong physically abused his first wife and raped a common-law partner, according to new allegations contained in documents filed at the British Columbia Supreme Court. 

Furlong, who is now the chief executive of Major League Soccer club Vancouver Whitecaps, is suing journalist Laura Robinson for a story she wrote for the Georgia Straight last year, in which she alleged he was abusive towards native students at Catholic schools while a teacher more than 40 years ago. 

Robinson's 22-page response contains further unproven allegations of abuse - both physical and sexual - against former students, as well as additional accusations that he was abusive toward his first wife, Margaret Furlong, in the 1970s and a second woman with whom he lived in a common-law relationship between 1979 and 1982. 

The statement of defence also says 62-year-old Furlong, who was originally from Tipperary in Ireland, was controlling and routinely made derogatory, belittling comments.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.
Laura Robinson profileJournalist Laura Robinson has made a series of explosive new allegations against former Vancouver 2010 President and chief executive John Furlong

Furlong's suit against Robinson, as well as her publisher - Vancouver Free Press Publishing Corp - was filed in late November.

He has accused Robinson, who in 2010 was awarded the Debwewin Citation for journalism excellence recognising her work on covering First Nations people and their access to high-level sport, of acting out of malice.

Robinson insisted in her statement of defence that she repeatedly sought his side of the story but was either shouted at by Furlong or given a blanket denial by his lawyer.

Furlong's representatives refused to comment on the latest allegations because they said that the matter was now before the courts. 

"As this matter is before the courts, Mr. John Furlong, the TwentyTen Group and his counsel are not available for public comment," they said in a statement.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
January 2013: Furlong defendants file court papers in libel case
November 2012: Furlong launches legal action over abuse allegations
October 2012: Former Vancouver 2010 chief continues to deny "humiliating and demeaning" abuse allegations
September 2012: Former Vancouver 2010 chief executive denies abuse allegations