WELLINGTON, Ont. – Ontario winemaker Norman Hardie is disputing parts of a report detailing accusations of sexual misconduct against him, while admitting that “many” of the allegations are true.
The Globe and Mail reported numerous misconduct allegations against Hardie on Tuesday, including unwanted sexual contact and inappropriate remarks.
The winemaker told the newspaper he does not “physically grab people or touch them against their will,” but later affirmed a former employee’s claim that he tried to kiss her on her first day of work.
Hardie released a statement Wednesday apologizing to those who felt “marginalized, demeaned or objectified” while working alongside him.
He said some of the allegations against him aren’t true, but “many are.” He did not specify which of the reported allegations he believed to be true or false.
Hardie said he’s been working for several years to change his behaviour. He said that after being contacted by reporters several months ago, he hired an “independent advisor” to conduct a review of the workplace culture at his winery in Wellington, Ont.
Hardie said the assessment was completed in April and “did not find any examples of sexual harassment in the workplace today.”
Hardie added that his team has begun implementing some of the recommendations from the review, including providing specific training on harassment.
“We have made good progress. But there is still work to be done, particularly as it applies to me personally,” he said in a statement posted to his website, Normanhardie.com.
“All I can promise is that I will work hard every day to earn back your trust in the days, months and years ahead.”