Photo shows Justin Trudeau wearing brownface at 2001 party

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wore brownface at an “Arabian Nights”-themed party 18 years ago, according to a photograph obtained by Time

Trudeau is seen wearing the brown makeup at a party at a private school where he was teaching in 2001, according to Time.

The prime minister apologized after the photos were published by Time

Trudeau admitted he wore the makeup while dressing up as Aladdin at an end-of-year gala while teaching in Vancouver, speaking to to reporters from an airplane in Halifax Wednesday evening. 

“I shouldn’t have done it, I should have known better, but I didn’t,” he said. “And I’m really sorry.”



Zita Astravas, the media relations lead of Trudeau’s Liberal Party of Canada, confirmed to Time that the prime minister is in the photo. 

Astravas told Time that Trudeau is planning to address the photo later Wednesday evening. 

The scandal emerged weeks after Trudeau launched his reelection campaign.

The photo shows Trudeau wearing brown makeup along with a turban and robe. Others are dressed in themed costumes, but only Trudeau appears to be wearing makeup to change the color of his skin. 

The photo obtained by Time was from a yearbook, which was given to the outlet by Vancouver businessman Michael Adamson, who was part of the West Point Grey Academy community. 

Adamson told the outlet he was not at the party but noticed the photo in July and thought it should be made public. 

Trudeau is already facing a scandal as he seeks reelection.

A Canadian ethics commissioner released a report last month finding that Trudeau violated ethics rules when he tried to pressure his former justice minister and attorney general to drop charges against a Quebec-based company.

Canadian federal elections will be held Oct. 21. Trudeau’s conservative opponent Andrew Scheer is running close to him in polls, according to NBC News.

Trudeau needs to win 170 of the 338 seats in the Parliament’s House of Commons to win the majority, but a minority government is also possible. If that happens, the winning prime minister would have to lean on one opposition party to pass legislation. 

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