Two people have revealed fresh information to CBC News about elements of the alleged incidents that forced Patrick Brown to resign as Ontario PC leader.
Brown faced accusations of sexual misconduct by two women, one who originally said she was in high school at the time, the other who worked for Brown when he was a member of Parliament.
The latter — who accused Brown of sexual assault at a party following his annual Hockey Night in Barrie fundraiser in 2013 — was “clinging to him” throughout the night, says Brown’s girlfriend at the time.
“She just kept following him around, like clinging to him,” said Mikaela Patterson in an exclusive interview with CBC News. “He would come over and talk to me and she would go over, she just wanted to be around him, it seemed.”
The woman was 19 at the time, working as a summer student. Last month, in separate interviews with CTV News and CBC News, both of which agreed not to reveal her identity, the woman said she was very drunk when Brown invited her up to his bedroom and began kissing her.
‘She just kept following him around, like clinging to him.’
– Mikhaela Patterson, ex-girlfriend
“I remember Patrick went upstairs at one point and I vaguely remember her following,” said Patterson. “He almost immediately came back down and said he was driving her home.”
Patterson said she observed no tension between the two. “There didn’t seem to be anything wrong. She didn’t seem upset, he didn’t seem upset. It was just ‘I’m going to take her home.'”
Patterson acknowledges she does not know what went on in the bedroom but said: “That’s not the kind of person Patrick is. He’s not forceful, he’s not inappropriate.”
CBC News contacted the woman who made the accusation on Wednesday afternoon and she is standing by her version of the events.
“I stand by the account of events I have previously given,” she said.
Driver denies taking 1st accuser to Brown’s house
Questions have also been raised about allegations made by the other woman who has accused the former PC leader.
She alleged Brown tried to force her to perform oral sex on him at his home in Barrie more than 10 years ago, after meeting him in a bar. On Tuesday, she changed a key element in her original complaint, saying that she was not in high school at the time of the alleged incident.
Now, a man who knows the accuser is disputing another key part of her story. She claimed he was the “mutual friend” who drove her to Brown’s house the night of the incident. He denies he ever took her there.
‘I do not recall a single incident where I took her to Patrick’s. I didn’t even know that they knew each other.’
– Man who knows 1st accuser
“If I had seen her downtown at the bars, I would have said hello and that’s it,” said the man, now 29, a resident of Barrie, in an exclusive phone interview with CBC News.
“I do not recall a single incident where I took her to Patrick’s. I didn’t even know that they knew each other.” He requested anonymity because he is concerned that being named will harm his professional reputation.
The man says he met the woman when they were in their mid-teens through a local church youth group, but they were not close friends. He has been close to Brown since meeting in 2004.
“I wouldn’t have driven her to Patrick’s house,” he said. “I don’t recall ever seeing them together.”
The woman’s lawyer, David Butt, did not deny the contradiction, but dismissed it as a “collateral matter” of “relative unimportance.”
“My client stands by the truth of the core allegation about what she experienced with Mr. Brown,” said Butt in an interview with CBC News.
The man says he only found out on Tuesday the woman was identifying him as the person who drove her to Brown’s when CTV called him to fact-check her story.
In his Facebook post on Wednesday, Brown made reference to the man.
“CTV News did not disclose last night that their reporter, Glen McGregor, called an acquaintance of mine yesterday to ask him if he had driven my first accuser to my home — a claim that was made by her. He categorically told CTV that this was completely untrue.” wrote Brown.
CTV, meanwhile, is standing by its story. “Patrick Brown’s allegations regarding our reporting are false, said Matthew Garrow, director of communications for CTV News, in a statement. “The two women have reiterated their allegations of sexual misconduct by Patrick Brown. His attacks on our journalistic practices are groundless and wrong.”