Man who released Trudeau's brownface photo says he has no political affiliation

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, with his face and hands painted brown, poses with others during an "Arabian Nights" party when he was a 29-year-old teacher at the West Point Grey Academy in Vancouver, Canada, in this photo published in the academy’s 2000-2001 yearbook. This image, published in The View yearbook, was obtained by Time.

TORONTO (Reuters) - The man who gave Time magazine the photo of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wearing brownface at a school event said on Friday he had no political affiliation nor did he receive any payment for releasing the image.

Vancouver businessman Michael Adamson said in a statement he was motivated solely by the belief that “Canadian public had a right” to see the photo.

The photo was taken at a gala dinner of British Columbia private school West Point Grey Academy (WPGA) in 2001, when Trudeau was a 29-year-old teacher at the school, showing him in a Middle East-inspired costume, skin darkened by makeup.

Trudeau repeatedly apologized for the embarrassing photo, which came to light less than five weeks before the federal elections, in which he was already facing a tough fight.

Adamson was part of the WPGA community at that time and provided a copy of the photo, which he had in a school yearbook, to Time, the magazine said when it published the story last week.

“I am not and have never been a member of a political party. I received no payment for releasing this photograph,” Adamson said.

Trudeau also explicitly acknowledged his mistakes, going so far as to call Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democratic Party and the first person of color to lead a federal political party, to apologize directly.

Reporting by Moira Warburton; Editing by Alistair Bell