Canada's Trudeau apologizes for dressing up in brownface in 2001

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized on Wednesday for wearing brownface makeup in 2001 after a picture emerged less than five weeks before a national vote in which he faces a tough fight for re-election.

"I should have known better then, but I didn't and I did it and I'm deeply sorry," Trudeau told reporters on his campaign plane in Halifax, Nova Scotia, after Time magazine published the image. His comments were carried live on Canadian television.

Time said the image was provided by Vancouver businessman Michael Adamson earlier this month. Adamson was part of the West Point Grey Academy community where Trudeau, then 29, worked at the time, the magazine said. The picture was in the Vancouver private school's yearbook.

"I dressed up in an Aladdin costume and put makeup on. I shouldn't have done it," Trudeau said.

The picture shows him wearing a turban and a white robe, with his face covered in dark makeup.

Trudeau is locked in a tight battle with Conservative leader Andrew Scheer ahead of the Oct. 21 federal election.

(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Peter Cooney)

09/19/2019 1:37

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