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Clement admits to multiple acts of infidelity as long ago as last summer

Last Updated Nov 8, 2018 at 11:41 am PST

Tony Clement arrives at the national Conservative summer caucus retreat in Halifax on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Summary

Letter to constituents on Clement's website says he has engaged in multiple inappropriate online exchanges

Clement says exchanges led to multiple acts of infidelity

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Former Conservative MP Tony Clement says he has engaged in more than one inappropriate online exchange.

In a letter to constituents posted on his website Clement says the exchanges led to multiple acts of infidelity.

“I am writing to you directly to address a number of poor decisions in my personal and private life. During a period of personal difficulty and weakness I engaged in inappropriate exchanges that crossed lines that should never have been crossed. These exchanges led to acts of infidelity,” he wrote in the post.

“One inappropriate exchange led to a woman being offered money by an anonymous social media account in exchange for the disclosure of intimate and personal information. I immediately reported this personal matter to the OPP last summer. Most recently, another inappropriate exchange led to foreign actors attempting to use my indiscretion for financial extortion which, without hesitation or second thought, I immediately reported to the RCMP. While these exchanges were entirely consensual and mutual, they were absolutely wrong and should never have occurred.”

RELATED: Conservative MP Tony Clement apologizes for ‘sexually explicit images and video’

On Tuesday, Clement resigned from his role as his party’s justice critic and from his committee duties, after admitting to sending sexually explicit images and a video to someone he thought was a consenting woman who he says tried to extort him.

Initially party leader Andrew Scheer did not ask him to leave caucus, saying he believed Clement’s claim that the exchange that led to the extortion attempt was isolated.

Scheer’s stance shifted Wednesday afternoon after he learned of more allegations from women posting about Clement’s behaviour on social media.

“New information became available today that suggest there are allegations that this is not an isolated incident and therefore I’ve asked Tony to resign from caucus and he has done so,” Scheer said.

He says he’s let down himself, his family, friends and supporters, community, work colleagues, and staff. “Basically everyone I care about and who care about me. Pride and vanity got the better of me, and shame held me back from getting back to the path of good.”

Clement says the person he failed the most is his wife “who has been with me through the many ups and downs of public service.”

“She has made many sacrifices along the way in order to build a loving home and a wonderful family. I cannot undo the pain and hurt my actions have caused.”

“I apologize to the women with whom the exchanges occurred, and I also apologize to anyone else who felt in any way that I crossed online boundaries that made them feel uncomfortable, even without my knowing. I am deeply sorry,” reads the letter.

Clement says none of these “personal lapses” impacted or involved his work as an MP and he is “committing to getting professional help.”

Click here to read Clement’s full letter on his website.

Clement was a Conservative party stalwart, a cabinet minister in Stephen Harper’s government and twice a candidate for the federal party leadership. He dropped out of the most recent leadership contest early on and endorsed Maxime Bernier. He also ran for the provincial Tory leadership in Ontario, where he was once a cabinet minister.

Clement is a heavy user of social media, frequently posting on Twitter and “liking” posts on Instagram.

He is married to lawyer and author Lynne Golding.