Former Toronto Star editor Jon Filson broke his silence today on the suicide of Star reporter Raveena Aulakh.
The end of Filson’s relationship with Aulakh was cited in her note, and an article by Toronto Star’s public editor Kathy English said Aulakh was “clearly heartbroken” because the relationship had “ended recently.” English also wrote that Aulakh alleged an “improper relationship between Filson and his boss, managing editor Jane Davenport.”
After Raveena Aulakh’s death, the Toronto Star’s union called for an external investigation. But, in a memo to its staff, the paper resisted, saying they have conducted two of their own investigations. According to the memo, the second investigation found that “Raveena’s immediate manager provided outstanding and exceptional levels of support and assistance to Raveena”
Filson’s response came in the form of a personal essay titled Private Lives, posted on the Walrus‘s website, which previously ran a piece on Aulakh’s death by editor Jon Kay titled Show Us The Suicide Note.
In the essay, Filson said he was “forced” to write the explanation to clear up misconceptions. He also said two reporters contacted him for comment. CANADALAND is among the two but we have not heard back.
In clearing up perceived misconceptions about Aulakh’s death. Filson makes a number of points which arguably shift the blame from his shoulders. These include:
* Filson wrote that while he was married when the relationship began, so was Raveena Aulakh.
* In an apparent reference to the notion that Filson was the one to end his relationship with Aulakh, Filson wrote that she “dropped” him many times.
* Filson said he was never Aulakh’s boss and twice mentioned that they were close to each other in age.
* Filson rejected that there is a “simple explanation” to Aulakh’s death, writing that he doubts any mental health expert would say it’s as simple as “an admittedly terrible break-up.”
* Filson pointed to the death of Aulakh’s grandparents and to her mental health.
* Filson wrote that he helped Aulakh find a therapist and urged her to keep seeing him.
* Filson acknowledged that Aulakh, in her note, asked not to be written about following her death, but didn’t say why he chose to go against her wishes.
In his concluding paragraph, Filson wrote that “these have been the worst days of my life” and said, “I don’t know what I will do now.”
The piece ends with a link to his LinkedIn profile, which contains his resume.
Earlier in the piece, Filson wrote, “Raveena deserved better.”