TVO Host Steve Paikin Accused of Sexual Harrassment

The Ontario broadcaster has launched an investigation into the allegations
TVO Host Steve Paikin Accused of Sexual Harrassment
Steve Paikin, the host of TVO's flagship current affairs program The Agenda, is under investigation for sexual harassment following allegations made by former Toronto mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson.

In a statement released by CEO Lisa de Wilde today, the public broadcaster noted they became aware of the allegations February 3, after Paikin received an email from Thomson relating to comments he had allegedly made at a lunch in 2010. The broadcaster said Paikin immediately notified TVO of the email.

UPDATE (02/06, 5:39 p.m. EST): Paikin has responded to the allegations with a statement published through Facebook, calling Thomson's claims "100% false." You can find his complete statement below.

Thomson referenced the allegations without naming Paikin in an article through website Women's Post on February 2. "My assistant and I met him at Grano's on Yonge Street, and the three of us ordered our lunch. Not five minutes into the lunch the host asked me if I would sleep with him," she wrote.

"My assistant almost spit his drink all over the table," she continued. "I politely told the host that I loved my husband and would never do that. I then excused myself, went to the washroom and called my campaign manager."

Thomson added that "in the years since he's approached me several times, usually at political functions, to suggest we 'sleep together' and he always laughs about it." 

The statement from de Wilde said, "TVO does not tolerate sexual harassment. We believe it is important that allegations be fully heard and investigated. However, based on the evidence to date, TVO sees no reason to remove Mr. Paikin from his role as Host for The Agenda pending the outcome of the investigation."

Paikin began working for TVO in 1992, hosting programs including Studio 2Between the Lines and Fourth Reading. Thomson ran for the mayor's office in 2010 and 2014, though later withdrew both bids.

Find de Wilde's full statement below.