Published Oct 27, 2014It's been a whirlwind few days for now former CBC host (and onetime Moxy Früvous member) Jian Ghomeshi. Now, serious allegations have emerged regarding the radio personality's sudden departure.
This all started on Friday (October 24), when Ghomeshi announced that he was taking a leave from his radio show Q. Soon after that, the CBC released him, with spokesman Chuck Thompson saying, "Information came to our attention recently that in CBC's judgment precludes us from continuing our relationship with Jian."
Not soon after, Ghomeshi issued a massive statement of his own, adding that he would be suing CBC for $50 million for "breach of confidence and bad faith" and claiming that his firing was a result of his personal sexual preferences and allegations from a "jilted ex girlfriend."
A report from the Toronto Star has now shed some light on the accusations levelled against Ghomeshi. Namely, three women have said that Ghomeshi was violent during or prior to sexual encounters. Although Ghomeshi has said that all of his encounters were consensual, the unnamed women in contact with the Star apparently say differently.
All three of the women are reportedly about 20 years younger than the 47-year-old Ghomeshi. According to the Star, the women say that he physically attacked them on dates without consent.
One of the women is quoted as saying, "[Ghomeshi] warned me he would be aggressive. I thought this meant he would want to pull my hair and have rough sex. He reassured me that I wouldn't be forced. [Later] he attacked me. Choked me. Hit me like I didn't know men hit women. I submitted."
The Star wrote that another women "visited Ghomeshi at his Toronto home and alleges as soon as she walked into his house he suddenly struck her hard with his open hand, then continued to hit her and choked her. The woman alleges Ghomeshi repeatedly beat her about the head and choked her."
A fourth woman is involved in the scandal, although she didn't have a violent encounter with Ghomeshi. Rather, she is a former CBC employee who claims that the radio host told her during a story meeting, "I want to hate fuck you." He also is said to have cupped her rear end while they were in the Q studio. She took it up with her union rep and, soon after, left the CBC.
According to the report, none of the alleged victims of violence have contacted the police, fearing a public backlash. They apparently engaged in role-play discussions during text messages with Ghomeshi and believed this might be used as evidence against them to suggest they had consented to violent sexual activity. The police have said there are currently no complaints against him and that he isn't being investigated.
The women's fear of a backlash isn't without precedent: last year, Carla Ciccone published an account of a "creepy" date with a "C-list Canadian celebrity" on XOJane. Although Ciccone didn't identify her date by name, many believed it to be Ghomeshi, and she apparently received many threats and negative messages.
In his Facebook statement over the weekend, Ghomeshi admitted to engaging in "role-play, dominance and submission" with an ex-girlfriend. According to him, however, he and the ex "discussed our interests at length before engaging in rough sex" and "[used] safe words and regularly checked in with each other about our comfort levels."
Ghomeshi said that he "voluntarily showed evidence that everything I have done has been consensual." He claimed that he was fired because of his private sexual preferences, saying that the CBC believed this behaviour "was unbecoming of a prominent host." The host has hired Navigator, a firm known for crisis management.
Today (October 27), guest Q host Brent Bambury made a statement saying that the show would be moving forward despite the departure of Ghomeshi.
Ghomeshi had been due to host the Giller Prize gala on November 10. He has now been relieved of this duty, as it is up to the CBC to determine the host.
UPDATE: In a new CBC interview on the program As It Happens, an anonymous woman has come forward with explicit details about allegedly being sexually abused by Ghomeshi. You can hear that interview below.