CTV News anchor Paul Bliss suspended after sexual misconduct allegations
Sexual misconduct allegations were made by former journalist Bridget Brown in a blog post Friday.
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Paul Bliss, an award-winning CTV reporter and anchor, has been suspended pending an investigation into allegations made Friday by a former network employee of sexual misconduct more than a decade ago.
CTV News Toronto announced the move on its Friday evening broadcast.
“Allegations have been made against a CTV news reporter. We take this very seriously and as a result have suspended Paul Bliss until an investigation is complete,” said Bell Media spokesperson Scott Henderson in a statement to the Star.
Henderson confirmed to the Star that the allegations were made by former journalist Bridget Brown, who left CTV in 2015. Brown shared her experience in a blog post on the Medium platform Friday, a decision she made after seeing Bliss’s tweets and broadcast coverage of the allegations against unseated PC leader Patrick Brown (no relation).
“I just thought, you know, it takes a lot of gall to participate in covering a story about behaviour that is similar to your own (alleged) past behaviour,” the former journalist said in an interview.
Brown said she received a call from the human resources department at CTV just hours after publishing her post.
Bliss, a veteran reporter and Queen’s Park Bureau Chief for the network, has not immediately responded to the Star’s request for comment on the allegations.
Five hours before CTV made the announcement about his suspension, Bliss stated in a tweet, “Newly minted leader of Ontario PC party asking disgraced former Ldr Patrick Brown to take extended leave of absence while he deals with sexual misconduct allegations.”
Brown, now a freelance writer, said she debated coming forward for months as more women shared their stories online as part of the #MeToo movement.
Back when the alleged incident happened in spring 2006, Brown said she felt she could jeopardize her employment as a CTV freelancer if she were to report the incident.
“I didn’t want anything about me to be an annoyance to my employer. That’s a decision I made at 25. It’s not the decision I would make today,” she told the Star.
Brown later tweeted, “I have had many ppl reach out to me and some experienced the same thing I did. I do have guilt around the issue that other people might have been protected if I’d spoken out earlier. There is nothing I can do about that now other than speak now.”
In her blog post, Brown said she met the anchor at a birthday party weeks before starting as a freelancer for CTV. He gave her a business card, and she later invited him for coffee at her building’s cafeteria in the spirit of networking during her first week on the job.
He worked in a satellite office, and offered Brown a tour there and introduced her to some of his colleagues before going into his office, she said.
Brown alleges that at that point he began kissing her, and then pushed the top of her head down.
“Women, you know this move. The universal ‘please-give-me-oral-sex’ move. It was enough to snap me out of my concern of offending him,” she wrote in her blog post.
Brown alleges she told him she would not perform the sex act, and turned around to leave, but did not know how to exit the building given it was her first time there.
She alleges he then exposed his penis to her.
“I stood frozen like a statue as this man proceeded to ejaculate in front of me right onto the fancy carpet of his office,” she alleges in her post. She said she felt frozen.
She said he then offered to show her out.
Brown said she did not name Bliss in her blog post, because she did not want to attract any negative online attention to his family members.
“I’m not going to be the one to send the Twitter mob after them, because no one’s an island; we all have family and kids,” she told the Star before CTV made its announcement.
She said she didn’t expect to hear from CTV’s human resources department so soon after publishing her post.
“So kudos to them.”
Brown is now a freelance writer and owns a small marketing business in Calgary.