MONTREAL -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn’t likely to have to take the stand, at least for the time being, to defend himself in a lawsuit in which he stands accused of defaming a woman by calling her a racist.

The suit stems from an incident at a public event three years ago where he was heckled on immigration by a woman named Diane Blain.

Trudeau responded from the stage, saying in French “Madam, your intolerance is not welcome here.”

Blain made her case to have Trudeau testify during a hearing at the St-Jean-sur-Richelieu courthouse this week. The 76-year-old testified that the incident was the most humiliating moment of her life.

“I'm not racist, I'm tolerant. I'm a nurse, I care for people who are yellow, red or Black,” she said in her testimony. “I have empathy.”

It earned her a sharp rebuke from the judge who noted the woman posted offensive comments of her own on Facebook.

Two lawyers representing Trudeau argued the lawsuit was frivolous and should be thrown out. They did not respond to a request by CTV News for an interview.

The judge in the case said she would take the arguments under advisement.

Blain and Trudeau's lawyers have both accepted pre-trial disclosure evidence where he was questioned as part of the case, meaning he likely won’t have to testify.

Blain is asking for $90,000 in damages.


A previous version of this story referred to a pre-trial hearing, but the hearing is part of the trial. CTV News regrets the error. This story has been updated to reflect a development in which both lawyers agreed to accept pre-trial disclosure evidence, meaning Trudeau will not have to testify.