News Brief

Email Challenges Narrative of Raveena Aulakh’s Death

An email sent by Toronto Star reporter Raveena Aulakh to her estranged romantic partner Jon Filson, then a senior Star editor, suggests that workplace issues were a major concern for her in the weeks leading up to her suicide.

On May 2, Aulakh sent senior editor Jon Filson an email in which she suggested that, years prior, he sabotaged the hiring of an intern he had a sexual relationship with. In 2007, the young woman was interviewed for a permanent position at the paper.

This is what Raveena Aulakh wrote to Filson about her:

“For all this time, I protected you. I never told anyone about us. I never told anyone that you had also been sleeping with [REDACTED] when she was an intern and she told people about it. You then nudged Lynn McAuley into not hiring [REDACTED]. Remember how you freaked out when you found last fall that Michael Cooke wanted to hire her?”

The email also mentions that Aulakh was willing to take her claims to Paul Woods, a senior editor at the Star. Aulakh wrote that because Filson has allegedly sabotaged another woman, she had a reason to be afraid: “Yes, I don’t feel safe at work. Especially knowing how you treated [the former intern].”

Speaking with the Financial Post, the former intern said she didn’t tell management about the affair, but she felt “bullied and trapped” by Filson. Here’s what the Post reported:

“I was a 22-year-old employed through the Star’s internship program, and (Filson) had direct oversight over me and my work. I broke off the relationship while I was still an intern,” she said in an emailed statement.

The woman left the Star when her contract expired in 2007. She never informed management of the alleged affair.

“I felt bullied and trapped in a bad situation and, looking back, lacked the personal experience and professional resources to know how to handle it at the time,” she said.

CANADALAND has reached out to Jon Filson as well as his lawyer and brother Ryan Filson in an attempt to get comment. We have not heard back. Michael Cooke and Lynn McAuley did not respond to detailed requests for comment. Should we hear back from anyone, this story will be updated.


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