Three women have come forward alleging that they were attacked by CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi, detailing physically and verbally abusive encounters with the popular radio personality to a Toronto Star reporter.
Ghomeshi—who claims he was fired because radio execs felt his sexual proclivities were "unbecoming of a prominent host on the CBC"—said Sunday that all of his admittedly rough sexual encounters have been consensual.
All three women say that Ghomeshi contacted them on Facebook for dates after meeting them at public CBC events.
Reports the Star:
Each woman said she remembers Ghomeshi being initially sweet and flattering, then later suggesting or hinting at violent sex acts. When they failed to respond or expressed displeasure, they recalled Ghomeshi dismissing his remarks as "just fantasies," reassuring them he wouldn't ask them to do anything they weren't comfortable with. The women deny that "safe words" were employed in the relationship.
In one woman's case, she 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.
The Star's interviews of the women were lengthy. The women, all educated and employed, said Ghomeshi's actions shocked them.
Another woman, who described a similar alleged attack, said that in the lead-up to their date 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."
A fourth woman—also a CBC employee—told the paper Ghomeshi once approached her at the studio, grabbing her ass and later telling her, "I want to hate fuck you."
Ghomeshi posted a lengthy Facebook post Sunday night in an apparent effort to get out ahead of the story, claiming the allegations were manufactured by a jealous ex-girlfriend.
"In the coming days you will prospectively hear about how I engage in all kinds of unsavoury aggressive acts in the bedroom. And the implication may be made that this happens non-consensually. And that will be a lie," Ghomeshi wrote, adding that CBC executives reportedly concluded that, "There is no question in their minds that there has always been consent."
The women reportedly told the Star that they didn't want to lodge formal complaints against the popular host because they were afraid of reprisals. All three reportedly said they feared being treated like Carla Ciccone, a woman who was harassed and ridiculed by Ghomeshi fans after she published a thinly disguised account of a date with the host on XO Jane last summer.
A follow-up piece from the Star indicates the story might have been shelved had Ghomeshi not published his lengthy Facebook post Sunday night claiming an unnamed newspaper rejected the women's claims as fabrications.
The reason The Star did not publish a story at that time was because there was no proof the women's allegations of non-consensual abusive sex were true or false. They were so explosive that to print them would have been irresponsible, and would have fallen far short of the Star's standards of accuracy and fairness.
In view of Mr. Ghomeshi's extraordinary statement on Facebook on Sunday evening, and his high public profile in Canada, we now believe it is in the public interest to detail those allegations, which appear to have led directly to his sudden firing from the CBC.
Ghomeshi reportedly rejected an offer from the radio station to pretend his dismissal was voluntary. Instead, he's announced plans to sue the company for $50 million.