OTTAWA -- Former Tory cabinet minister Helena Guergis has launched a $1.3 million lawsuit against the prime minister, two MPs and the Conservative Party of Canada.
Guergis is seeking $800,000 in general damages, $250,000 in aggravated damages and $250,000 in punitive damages for what she alleges is a conspiracy, defamation, and negligence when she was kicked out of the Conservative caucus.
Guergis argues in her 32-page statement of claim, which was filed in Ottawa, that her colleagues began to leave her out of meetings and treated her differently after Sept. 11, 2009, when negative media reports surfaced after her husband was charged with cocaine possession and drunk driving.
The Crown eventually withdrew the charges and Rahim Jaffer pleaded guilty to careless driving.
But there were also reports Jaffer used his wife to gain access to higher levels of government to benefit his clients, and the rumours also included talk of drugs and prostitutes.
Guergis was cleared of wrongdoing by the RCMP.
Guergis is also suing Raymond Novak, the principal secretary for Harper; lawyer Arthur Hamilton and his firm Cassels Brock and Blackwell LLP; Guy Giorno, Harper's chief of staff; MPs Shelly Glover and Lisa Raitt; Raitt and Guergus staffer Axelle Pellerin; and Derrick Snowdy, a private investigator.
She alleges Snowdy talked to Hamilton about her potentially being involved in "fraud, extortion, obtaining benefits by false pretences and prostitution."
Guergis said that conversation on April 8, 2010, snowballed into a conspiracy against her.
At another time, Snowdy alleged she had used cocaine and there was a video of Guergis snorting cocaine off a prostitute's breasts. In Dec. 2009 or early 2010, Pellerin allegedly told Giorno that Raitt said she had seen Guergis using illegal drugs, including in the washroom of an Ottawa restaurant.
Guergis said on April 9, Harper "pressured" her to step down. He then issued a statement that "was made in bad faith and in an attempt to discredit" Guergis.
She also said the Conservative's decision to drop her as a candidate for the May federal election was done "unlawfully" and said the conspiracy damaged her "reputation, career in politics and public service, her ability to earn income and her health and personal well-being."
Guergis lost her Ontario riding in the May election after running as an independent.
Guergis' statement of claim has not been proven in court.
Giorno rejected the claims made against him.
"The claim is an incoherent mix of fantasy, fabrication and fiction," Giorno said. "I am embarrassed for her lawyer and sorry that Helena remains detached from reality."
- with files from Kris Sims