Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day Thirty-eight - Theo Fluery - New Article One

Fleury to file complaint against former coach
By George Johnson, Calgary HeraldOctober 13, 2009Comments (40)
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More Images » Theoren Fleury is set to press for charges to be laid against Graham James,CALGARY - Theoren Fleury sounds ready to see this thing through.

In Toronto for the launch the of his candid autobiography "Playing With Fire", the former Calgary Flames’ captain said Wednesday morning that a complaint of sexual abuse against his former junior coach Graham James is in the works.

In the book, Fleury alleges that James, who spent three years in prison after being convicted 11 and a half years ago of molesting two of the teenage Swift Current Broncos players in his charge, including Fleury friend Sheldon Kennedy, also sexually abused him, starting when he was 14 years old.

"We’re looking into it,’’ Fleury said in a telephone interview from the offices of HarperCollins Publishers. "We have a group, a team of people in place, doing just that. We want to make sure we’re protected in this and everything is in order. But I think there’ll be something (to announce) soon.

"We’re going to do what’s best. For me and my family. I think the last four years I’ve shown that I’ve made the right choices. And I’ll do that again. We want people like Graham James off the street, in places where they should be.’’

Fleury was asked if he needed to see James brought to further justice to feel a sense of closure with his painful past.

"No, I don’t think I do.

"But when I decided to write this book, I knew that if that (proceeding with legal action) was part of it, then it’s part of it. I’m ready for it. I’m strong enough now to handle it. I’m at a good place, a safe place, in my life. I’ve stopped playing the victim: ‘Poor me, poor me, poor me. Pour me another one.’

"I’ll just have to lean on the people who’ve been there for me and supported me these last four years.’’

The book is raw, graphic. "Brutal" is Fleury’s word for its honesty. In it, he details his descent into alcoholism, drug and gambling addiction, triggered, he writes, by the same and guilt brought on by James. He’s been sober for four years, re-instated by the NHL as he attempted a failed comeback, at 41, with the Flames this fall.

Does he hope the man he claims responsible for his pain reads the book?

"I don’t care. I don’t care what Graham James thinks. He’s far from me and my family.’’

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

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