Former Canadian Broadcasting (CBC) radio host Jian Ghomeshi has been charged with sexual assault.
The allegations against him include four counts of sexual assault and one count of what police have called “overcome resistance – choking”.
Ghomeshi, 47, had hosted CBC's culture show Q since 2007, which was also broadcast on National Public Radio and Public Radio International stations in the US.
CBC sacked Ghomeshi in October, citing the emergence of “graphic” evidence that he had caused physical injury to a person.
But Ghomeshi defended his actions in a 1,500-word statement on Facebook in which he argued he had had consensual “rough sex” with women, and accused an ex-girlfriend of enacting revenge on him.
In late October, police urged other women to come forward, and officers started to investigate claims after nine victims contacted the media to report incidents of assault and sexual assault involving Ghomeshi.
Ghomeshi later said that he would confront the allegations “directly”, but would not discuss them with the media.
Actress and Royal Canadian Air Force captain Lucy DeCoutere, who appears in Trailer Park Boys, was the first woman to speak on record about allegedly being assaulted by Ghomeshi. She said that when the pair went on a date, they returned to his home where he pressed her up against a wall, choked her and slapped her across the face several times.
Author and lawyer Reva Seth became the second woman to go public, writing in the Huffington Post that Ghomeshi put his hands around her throat and sexually assaulted her, although it was not known if she was one of the women who filed a complaint to police against Ghomeshi.
After he was fired, Ghomeshi launched legal action against the CBC for breach of confidence and defamation. He dropped that case yesterday, though a union grievance alleging dismissal without proper cause remains.
None of the allegations from any of the women have been proven, and Ghomeshi's lawyer didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from AP.
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair declined to comment, saying the matter is now before the courts.
Additional reporting by APReuse content