Monday, October 27, 2014

Last Call For Jian Gone-meshi

Over the weekend, CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi of the culture and interview show Q was suspended on Friday over allegations of sexual assault, then outright fired yesterday when those allegations grew to encompass reports of assault by four different women. Ghomeshi is suing the CBC over this, and the story just keeps getting worse.  Kevin Donovan and Jesse Brown in the Toronto Star:

CBC star Jian Ghomeshi has been fired 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.

Shortly after CBC announced Ghomeshi was out the door on Sunday, Ghomeshi 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 later followed that up with a Facebook posting saying he has been the target of “harassment, vengeance and demonization.”

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’s statement said that he has been open with the CBC about the allegations. He said the CBC’s decision to fire him came after he voluntarily showed evidence late last week that everything he has done was 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.

The three women interviewed by the Star allege that Ghomeshi physically attacked them on dates without consent. They allege he struck them with a closed fist or open hand; bit them; choked them until they almost passed out; covered their nose and mouth so that they had difficulty breathing; and that they were verbally abused during and after sex.

A fourth woman, who worked at CBC, said Ghomeshi told her at work: “I want to hate f--- you.”

“I have always been interested in a variety of activities in the bedroom but I only participate in sexual practices that are mutually agreed upon, consensual, and exciting for both partners,” Ghomeshi said in his posting.

Q was big enough to get on a number of public radio stations here in the US, including the ones here in the Cincy area.  I've listened to the show on a number of occasions and liked Ghomeshi's interview style, and he's talked to everyone from Barbara Streisand to Robert Plant to John Malkovich to, yes, even Julian Assange.  Ghomeshi himself is former frontman for Moxy Fruvious and he's come a long way from there to being the Canadian equivalent of Oprah.

The allegations open up a lot of questions for Ghomeshi that he says he is trying to answer, but attacking the women making these allegations against him is pretty despicable.  It's one thing if the guy is James Spader's character in Secretary, but if he assaulted or abused his partners, then yeah, he's going to have bigger problems than losing his radio show real fast.

More at Gawker, who intimates that the other shoe is going to drop on Ghomeshi story very soon.

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