MP Tony Clement’s extortion-story time frame is disputed by two women
Calls into question if he fulfilled his legal obligation in relation to his security clearance
OTTAWA—TWO women who claim to have had intimate relationships with Tony Clement — one online, one in person — say the ousted Conservative parliamentarian was aware of attempts to expose his allegedly inappropriate behaviour toward women as early as last spring or summer.
These accounts seem to contradict Clement’s initial public statement about when he became aware of an alleged attempt to extort him. They also call into question whether, given his position on Parliament’s new national security committee, he fulfilled his legal obligation at the time to notify the Privy Council Office about whether his personal circumstances changed in a way that could affect his security clearance.
Until Tuesday, Clement was a leading member of the Conservative caucus who had twice jumped into the race to lead the party and served prominent cabinet roles under Stephen Harper.
Wednesday, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer requested Clement’s resignation. The demand came less than a day after Clement published a statement claiming he was targeted for “financial extortion” after sending sexual images and a video to an unknown party. Clement says he believed the person was a consenting female adult.
The Star has interviewed two women who say they met Clement online and went on to have sexual interactions with him. Both women, who know each other and consulted about speaking publicly, asked the Star not to publish their names — one out of concern over Clement’s reaction to her speaking publicly about him; the other because she feared ramifications in her professional life.
The Star has agreed to keep their identities confidential in order to tell their stories in the public interest, as Clement was a senior Conservative figure with high-level security clearance.
When presented with a detailed account of the women’s claims Wednesday night, Clement responded by email: “I’m working on a statement that I’ll get to you when I’m comfortable with it.”
In a statement posted to his personal website, Clement confirmed he engaged in multiple “inappropriate exchanges that crossed lines that should have never been crossed.” He said these exchanges led to “acts of infidelity.” One of these exchanges led to a woman being offered money by an anonymous social media account in exchange for personal information about him, he said.
He said he reported this to the OPP “last summer.” He added that, “most recently, another inappropriate exchange led to foreign actors attempting to use my indiscretion for financial extortion” and that he immediately reported this to the RCMP. In an exclusive interview, two women say they met with former Conservative MP Tony Clement online and went on to have sexual interactions with him.