In a surprising move the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) decided to part ways with their star broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi over “information” the public broadcaster recently received that it says “precludes” it from continuing to employ the 47-year-old host of the popular Q radio show.
The London born & Thornhill Ontario raised Ghomeshi has been with the CBC for almost 14 years as a national on-air personality on CBC Television and CBC Radio, and host of the daily arts program Q on CBC Radio One. He has hosted various series on TV and radio including The National Playlist, ZeD and spent three years as the host of the TV program >play. He has been hosting the daily arts & culture radio (and shot for video clips on Youtube) show Q, a show he co-created and developed since 2007 and which gained international notoriety when guest Billy Bob Thornton flared up for some silly reason.
Jian has responded to the firing on Sunday as he released news that he was launching a $50-million lawsuit claiming “breach of confidence and bad faith” by his employer of almost 14 years. He followed it up by opening up about the allegations with a lengthy post on his Facebook page. Over the past few months the Star has approached Ghomeshi with allegations from three young women, all about 20 years his junior, who say he was physically violent to them without their consent during sexual encounters or in the lead-up to sexual encounters. Ghomeshi, through his lawyer, has said he “does not engage in non-consensual role play or sex and any suggestion of the contrary is defamatory.” In his Facebook posting Sunday evening, Ghomeshi wrote in an emotional statement that he has “done nothing wrong.” He said it is not unusual for him to engage in “adventurous forms of sex that included role-play, dominance and submission.” However, he said it has always been consensual.
Ghomeshi blames a woman he describes as an ex-girlfriend for spreading lies about him and orchestrating a campaign with other women to “smear” him. Early last summer, the Star began looking into allegations by young women of sexual abuse by Ghomeshi over the past two years. The Star conducted detailed interviews of the women, talking each woman several times. None of the women filed police complaints and none agreed to go on the record. The reasons given for not coming forward publicly include the fear that they would be sued or would be the object of Internet retaliation. Last year Carla Ciccone wrote an article for the website XOJane about a “bad date” with an unidentified, very popular Canadian radio host whom readers speculated to be Ghomeshi. In the days that followed, Ciccone received hundreds of abusive messages and threats. An online video calling her a “scumbag of the Internet” has been viewed over 397,000 times. Ciccone’s claims about the behaviour during her “bad date” were far less severe than the allegations of abuse from the women now accusing Ghomeshi, who fear the online backlash could be significantly worse for them if their names were made public.
More details will follow I’m sure.