It’s trebles all ‘round at CTV News this week, amid rumours that Patrick Brown won’t pursue his much-ballyhooed lawsuit against them.
The Vortex’s bombshell story of sexual monkeyshines cost the avid heterosexualist his shot at becoming premier of Ontario. Brown resigned as leader of the Ontario PC Party hours after CTV aired a story Jan. 24 that accused him of dick-pestering two young women.
The lawsuit promised to be a shitshow—for both sides—and one that Brown had little impetus to continue or chance of winning.
For starters, Paddy issued the notice primarily for tactical purposes in his re-run at the leadership (dec’d).
Then there’s the enormous cost. Brown, as revealed last month by the gutter press, has limited financial resources. Add to that pisspoor employment prospects — and the $100K (from whatever source) he squandered on that abortive comeback campaign.
His only hope of wringing some dough out of CTV rested with his dentist sister, Stephanie, who has decided she’s got better things to do with her dosh than pay six figures-plus to legalists Julian Porter and Howard Winkler.
Granted, Brown had a case, sort of. His lawyers could argue that CTV was too quick to pull the trigger on the story, giving him only five hours to respond and getting significant details wrong. And the connection between CTV reporter Rachel Aiello and anonymous complainant Chelsea Nash (Franks passim) was, er, troubling.
But CTV had so much to shoot at in its defence—Brown’s woofy finances, his skeezy sexual history, his nomination heists. Plus, the network could fall back on the “responsible journalism” defence. They gave Brown a chance to respond to the allegations before reporting them, and he issued a denial. They may have been aggressive, but that falls short of acting maliciously, and malice is the legal threshold for finding liability.
Fade to Brown.