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Jian Ghomeshi: Why Are We Hearing About This Guy’s Sex Exploits on Facebook?

A few days back, a journalist friend of mine re-posted something on Facebook that I was a bit shocked by. It was a long Facebook post by Jian Ghomeshi, a broadcaster out of Canada who worked for the C...
Jian Ghomeshi: Why Are We Hearing About This Guy’s Sex Exploits on Facebook?
Written by Mike Tuttle
  • A few days back, a journalist friend of mine re-posted something on Facebook that I was a bit shocked by. It was a long Facebook post by Jian Ghomeshi, a broadcaster out of Canada who worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Ghomeshi did a show called Q, which is huge in Canada and gets carried on public radio in the U.S. as well. One journalist called Q “the crown jewel of Canada’s cultural programming.”

    “Think of him as a cross between Ira Glass and Charlie Rose, except much more important to Canadians than either is to Americans,” said HuffPost Canada News Editor Michael Bolen.

    Apparently Ghomeshi had been fired from his job at the CBC.

    At first I was not all that interested in reading the long post. Then I started hearing about other people who had seen the post. It started making the news. My wife is a frequent listener of Q and commented on the whole situation. I started paying attention.

    Ghomeshi said in his post that his firing was intended to be quiet, but he was not going quietly.

    “Today I was fired from the company where I’ve been working for almost 14 years – stripped from my show, barred from the building and separated from my colleagues. I was given the choice to walk away quietly and to publicly suggest that this was my decision. But I am not going to do that. Because that would be untrue. Because I’ve been fired. And because I’ve done nothing wrong.”

    Ghomeshi went on to elaborate that he was fired because someone, a “jilted ex girlfriend,” was accusing him of being abusive. He explained that he likes to participate in “rough sex (forms of BDSM),” and that this woman was a willing participant “and often was the initiator” of their role-play sessions.

    He said that he decided to break up with the woman, and things went bad.

    “She was upset by this and sent me messages indicating her disappointment that I would not commit to more, and her anger that I was seeing others.

    “After this, in the early spring there began a campaign of harassment, vengeance and demonization against me that would lead to months of anxiety.”

    Ghomeshi said that someone started contacting his former girlfriends, trying to build a story against him. His former girlfriends would call and tell him about it.

    “Someone also began colluding with a freelance writer who was known not to be a fan of mine and, together, they set out to try to find corroborators to build a case to defame me. She found some sympathetic ears by painting herself as a victim and turned this into a campaign. The writer boldly started contacting my friends, acquaintances and even work colleagues – all of whom came to me to tell me this was happening and all of whom recognized it as a trumped up way to attack me and undermine my reputation. Everyone contacted would ask the same question, if I had engaged in non-consensual behavior why was the place to address this the media?”

    It would later come to light that this “writer” was media critic Jesse Brown, host of the media criticism podcast “Canadaland.”

    Ghomeshi said he stayed in communication with his superiors at the CBC the whole time, telling them what was going on, knowing what his legal options were. He did not pursue a lawsuit early on because he did not want to start a scandal when one might not be necessary. He gathered all the evidence of his innocence — that all his relationships and activities had been consensual — and presented them to his bosses. They believed him.

    But they decided to fire him anyway. The CBC announced, “information came to our attention recently that in CBC’s judgment precludes us from continuing our relationship with Jian.”

    Ghomeshi goes into greater detail.

    “CBC execs confirmed that the information provided showed that there was consent. In fact, they later said to me and my team that there is no question in their minds that there has always been consent. They said they’re not concerned about the legal side. But then they said that this type of sexual behavior was unbecoming of a prominent host on the CBC. They said that I was being dismissed for ‘the risk of the perception that may come from a story that could come out.’ To recap, I am being fired in my prime from the show I love and built and threw myself into for years because of what I do in my private life.”

    Ghomeshi went public with what could be very embarrassing details because he says there have been “no formal allegations, no formal complaints, no complaints, not one, to the HR department at the CBC (they told us they’d done a thorough check and were satisfied), and no charges, I have lost my job based on a campaign of vengeance.”

    Since his statement to the public via Facebook, three women have filed complaints against Ghomeshi and police are investigating him.

    The Toronto Star reported that Ghomeshi’s lawyers have filed a $50 million lawsuit against the CBC.

    But more women keep coming forward. They tell tales of incredibly rough encounters, activities that surpassed what they were comfortable doing.

    The Star elaborated on one story they received.

    “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.”

    Another woman told The Star, that 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.”

    Perhaps the most damning “testimony” against Ghomeshi so far came from a friend of his. Owen Pallett, a musician friend of Jian Ghomeshi, said in a Facebook post of his own:

    “Jian is my friend. I have appeared twice on Q. But there is no grey area here. Three women have been beaten by Jian Ghomeshi.

    “I am skeptical of arts reporting. I am skeptical of Canadian journalism. I am sensitive toward shaming of people who are so-called sexual deviants.

    “But let’s be clear. Whether the court decides that predatory men are punished or exonerated does not silence the voices of the victims. It does not make victims liars.

    “Whether our culture continues to celebrate the works of predatory men is another issue. It does not silence the voices of the victims.

    “Jian Ghomeshi is my friend, and Jian Ghomeshi beats women. How our friendship will continue remains to be seen.”

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