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May 31, 2007

Blame Canada

It seems our friends up north have known about Ms. Marsden for some time. She was even encouraged to run for office as a Conservative.

The only thing that got in the way? Um...(opens pdf)

Peter Worthington, founder of the Sun chain of newspapers and senior columnist with the Toronto Sun, says he's puzzled by the hiring. "She's good-looking, she's articulate, but she's nine miles of bad road," he says. "You might want to live dangerously, and they seem to have decided they want to do that." He admits the Sun has lived to regret its share of strange hires and is willing to give his rivals the benefit of the doubt that maybe they've made a mistake. But, he warns, "the editor better not be in a room alone with her--she has a lethal reputation."

That reputation began in 1996, when Marsden publicly accused Liam Donnelly, a swim coach at Simon Fraser University, where she was enrolled, of sexual harassment. After an investigation--which Donnelly boycotted--the coach was fired and publicly censured by SFU. The story made national news, but later, Donnelly was able to prove that, in fact, things were the other way around: Marsden had been stalking him. In July 1997, he was reinstated. Just days later Marsden contacted the CBC and went on The National to accuse Donnelly of rape. The charge was false, but the episode became such a scandal for SFU that the university's president resigned, citing stress. Marsden was unfazed and unapologetic. Of the fallout, she told a reporter: "Fifty per cent of people want to sleep with me, and the other 50 per cent want to kill me." (Marsden has long cultivated a highly sexualized image. Her website, until very recently, contained near-pornographic images of the columnist in skimpy lingerie, as well as photos of celebrity Julia Roberts with Marsden's face digitally superimposed over the star's.) A few years later, she was warned by RCMP to stop harassing SFU criminology professor and author Neil Boyd.

In 2002, Marsden was arrested and charged with criminal harassment for repeatedly phoning and e-mailing a former lover, Michael Morgan, then a 52-year-old Vancouver radio personality. Search warrant documents obtained by the Vancouver Province alleged that Marsden threatened to publicly humiliate Morgan with nude photos she had taken of him and documents she had stolen from his office. She had also harassed his former girlfriend and her daughter. Just last year, Marsden pled guilty. A B.C. judge ordered her to keep out of trouble and sentenced to her to 12 months probation, which she is still serving.

With a history like that, one wonders whether there is more to the story with Fox.

Now, I'm not saying there is, but come on...

digg this
posted by Slublog at 03:07 PM

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