Clement admits to multiple acts of infidelity
OTTAWA — Former Conservative MP Tony Clement has had inappropriate online relationships with more than one woman and went to the police months ago because someone was trying to pay one of the women to offer up intimate details of their exchanges, he admitted Thursday.
When Clement told Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer last week that he had shared explicit images of himself online in October and was being extorted to prevent the images from being released publicly, he insisted it was an isolated incident. It was not.
“During a period of personal difficulty and weakness I engaged in inappropriate exchanges that crossed lines that should never have been crossed,” Clement wrote Thursday in a statement to his constituents in the Ontario riding of Parry Sound Muskoka.
Scheer looked grim as he took time away from a policy announcement on crime in Brampton to respond to the latest admissions.
“This was a shock to me when I was made aware of the situation,” Scheer said.
Despite knowing for several months that someone had been trying to dig up dirt on him, Clement continued to sit until Tuesday on Parliament’s national-security and intelligence committee.
Members have top-secret clearances and can be privy to extremely sensitive information.
Clement is no longer on that committee and the RCMP and the Privy Council Office are investigating possible security breaches.
Clement approached Scheer last week to let him know someone was trying to extort him because he’d sent explicit images and a video to someone he thought was a “consenting female.”
Thursday, Clement said the most recent extortion attempt was by “foreign actors.”
Clement said he wouldn’t comment beyond what was in his statement.
Scheer said he knew no details of the extortion.
Clement resigned as the Conservative justice critic and from his committee assignments Tuesday night.
Wednesday morning, Scheer said Clement would remain in the Conservative caucus because he trusted Clement’s claim that he’d committed a single, though terrible, “lapse in judgment.”
A few hours later, after more allegations about Clement approaching young women online surfaced on Twitter, Scheer said Clement was no longer welcome in the Conservative caucus.
Scheer said he found out about the information in Clement’s Thursday statement only when he posted it publicly.
Clement wrote Thursday that he had let himself and everyone who cares about him down.
“Pride and vanity got the better of me, and shame held me back from getting back to the path of good,” he wrote.
He said his constituency office will stay open and he will remain an MP.