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Dana vows to fight on after abuse claims are revealed

DANA Rosemary Scallon was trying to restart her election campaign today despite the surfacing of allegations that her brother John Brown sexually abused their niece.

The claims were first aired in a US court case involving a dispute over the family's record company.

The sex abuse accusation surfaced during a court case in Iowa between Susan Stein -- Dana and John's sister -- and her husband Dr Ronald Stein, on the one side, and Dana and her husband Damien, on the other.



battle

They were in a battle for control of the presidential candidate's music company Heart Beat Records.

However, Mr Brown, who is a member of Dana's election campaign team, denied the allegation in a sworn statement during the case and Ms Scallon has described it as "vile" and "malicious".

In a TV3 interview, Dana insisted: "I will not step down, I will not bend under this and I will not be broken under this."

She refused to shed light on the claims against a family member, only confirming that they were sexual in nature.

"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 because the first time it was ever raised was in a court case in a family dispute -- never before.

"It was not acted upon at that time. The second time it's raised is now in the middle of my election campaign, with the obvious desire of trying to destroy my character," Dana said.

Mr Stein told the court that Mr Brown admitted the alleged abuse to him in 2005.

He said that Mr Brown called him at home and "apologised for abusing" his daughter, Susan Gorell, over a period of 12 years.

Dr Stein told the court that his brother-in-law said he was "sorry" and that he knew that God had forgiven him.

Mr Brown then asked Dr Stein for his forgiveness, he said in his evidence.

Dana first drew attention to the allegations during the Prime Time election debate on Wednesday when she read out a prepared statement denouncing the claims, without specifying what they were.

In her latest comments, she said: "A most despicable and malicious campaign of hatred is currently being directed at myself and my family."

She added: "My family and I have agreed that to walk away now from the presidential campaign would be to give support to the orchestrated campaign that I believe is being peddled from a specific source and I will not let this happen."

The Herald did not receive a response to calls made to Dana or Mr Brown today. No response was received from her campaign spokeswoman today.



silence

Dana had spent almost two days away from the campaign trail before breaking her silence on TV3.

Lawyers for the Steins said they raised the abuse allegation in the court case in an attempt to question Mr Brown's credibility. Mr Brown denied the allegation under oath. The denial was not published with the transcripts from the case.

During evidence, Susan Stein said she knew of the allegation in the mid-1990s but did not act on it or tell her husband until 2005 when the business dispute had surfaced.

In the meantime a lawyer acting for the alleged victim said he wanted to make it clear to the media in Ireland and the US that his client reserved the right to take action against any person or organisation that repeated any claim that any potential allegations made by his client were "false, malicious or otherwise."

comurphy@herald.ie