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Thursday 22 March 2018

Dana lifts the lid on sex claims within her family

'False, malicious' allegations made in court papers, candidate reveals

Dana Scallon at the Presidential debate on RTE's Primetime. Photo: Collins

Fionnan Sheahan and Fiach Kelly

Dana Rosemary Scallon last night revealed that sexual accusations were made against a family member by another relative.

The presidential candidate said she had known of the allegation for the past five years, since it emerged during a court case, described as a "family dispute". The same family row over royalties from her work, played out in a US court, resulted in Dana's US citizenship emerging for the first time.

Dana disclosed the accusation "of a sexual nature regarding a member of my family" came out during a court case taken against her by her US-based sister Susan Stein and the claims go back 35 years. The presidential election hopeful, who is languishing in last place in the opinion polls, is attempting to get her campaign back on track.

Dana said she is continuing with her bid to become president. She will be canvassing today in her west and the north-west heartland, which she represented as an MEP previously.

On a whistle-stop tour, she will be in Galway, Claremorris, Castlebar, Sligo, Bundoran, Donegal and Ballybofey. But Dana is in severe danger of not getting enough votes to be entitled to a refund from the taxpayer of any of her campaign spending.

Already trailing her competitors in the race, she needs to get at least a quarter of a quota to be entitled to claim back up to €200,000 from the State. The remainder of her campaign will inevitably be overshadowed by the controversy which emerged when she made a dramatic claim of allegations being made against a member of her family during a live television debate this week. Dana (61) and Ms Stein (64) are both members of the extended Brown family.

The sisters were involved in a bitter legal battle over the proceeds of Dana’s recordings. The extended Brown family was split down the middle by a row over music rights and royalty payments. Family members say the 2008 court battle in the US had polarised the family, with half taking Ms Stein’s side and half taking Dana’s. A private settlement was agreed following the court proceedings, which involved the continued payment of music royalties to Ms Scallon.

Relatives said Dana was supported in the US dispute by her brother John (57), who is also her campaign adviser, while another brother Robert (69) sided with Ms Stein. During the course of this case, the allegations were made by Ms Stein’s husband, Dr Ron Stein. Although never formally followed up by legal authorities, Dana says she is certain the accusation is not true.

“The fact that no action was taken, either by the alleged victim or by the family of the alleged victim, to me proves that this is a false and malicious allegation. If it were me or if it were someone related to me, I would certainly act upon it,” she said on TV3. After leaving voters mystified with her statement on RTE’s ‘Prime Time’ debate and going to ground for two days, Dana finally divulged the allegations. “Well, I have not been talking about it. I have been stressing that this is malicious lies, malicious lies and it is of a sexual nature regarding a member of my family and I know that it is not true. I know it is not true,” she said.

Dana says the first time the accusations emerged was during the court case. She said the “false accusation first surfaced in a family dispute court case” around five years ago and was denied. “Well I was in a family dispute, which ended up with me being sued for ownership of my recordings and copyrights and we had to defend our position and we had to counterclaim on that ownership and also on the question of outstanding royalties, of which there was a substantial amount. In the court case this accusation arose,” she said in an interview with TV3’s political editor Ursula Halligan.

Dana claimed the allegations were now coming out because of her presidential election campaign. She vowed to fight on in her campaign and would not be forced from the campaign. “I did say if this were to happen again, I would step down and I truly felt that this was an attempt to make me stand down. But I tell you, I will not step down. I will not bend under this and I will not be broken under this because what I am telling you is the truth,” she said.

In a statement issued after the interview was broadcast, Dana claimed a “despicable and malicious campaign of hatred” was being directed at her and her family.

Irish Independent

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