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Man who provided Trudeau brownface photo to media denies political motivations

Last Updated Sep 27, 2019 at 1:36 pm EST

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is photographed in brownface at an "Arabian Nights" party at West Point Grey Academy in 2001. (Source: West Point Grey Academy)

The man who provided a yearbook photo of Justin Trudeau in brownface to Time Magazine says he received no payment for the photo and isn’t a member of a political party.

In a statement released Friday, Michael Adamson said he was “motivated solely by the belief that the Canadian public had a right to see it.”

“Earlier this month I communicated with a reporter from Time Magazine regarding the existence of a photograph showing Justin Trudeau wearing brownface at an event while he was a teacher at West Point Grey Academy,” Adamson said.

“As a past member of the WPGA community, I had been aware of gossip surrounding the existence of this photograph and was in a position to provide a copy of it from the school yearbook to the Time reporter.”

“I am not and have never been a member of a political party. I received no payment for releasing this photograph. My decision to provide it to Time Magazine was motivated solely by the belief that the Canadian public had a right to see it.”

Adamson said he will not be commenting further on this issue.

The 2001 yearbook photo showed Trudeau at an “Arabian Nights”-themed gala event, clad in an elaborate turban and robe, his face, hands and neck covered in dark makeup.

The black-and-white photo was posted online by Time magazine. It originally appeared in the yearbook from the West Point Grey Academy, a private school in Vancouver, B.C., where Trudeau worked as a teacher before entering politics.