Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Picture: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP

Montreal - The woman who alleges Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau inappropriately touched her 18 years ago, broke her silence Friday to stand behind her claim.

The incident, detailed in an editorial in the Creston Valley Advance newspaper in 2000, in which Trudeau allegedly groped a reporter, "did occur, as reported," Rose Knight, the reporter in question said in a statement to CBC News.

She said the then-28-year-old Trudeau apologised the day after the incident, and added that she would not be pursuing the incident further.

"The debate, if it continues, will continue without my involvement," Knight said.

Trudeau told reporters on Thursday he had been "reflecting very carefully on what I remember from that incident almost 20 years ago."

"I feel I am confident that I did not act inappropriately," he said, adding that he had apologised because he "sensed that she was not entirely comfortable with the interaction we had."

The recently resurfaced unsigned editorial accused Trudeau, who was in Creston, British Columbia at the time to attend a local charity event, of "inappropriately handling" a young female reporter on assignment.

It said Trudeau offered an apology of sorts a day later, quoting him as saying "I'm sorry. If I had known you were reporting for a national paper I never would have been so forward."