Jian Ghomeshi has dismissed allegations that he sexually abused several women.
The CBC presenter – who co-hosted popular show Q – was dismissed from the Canadian television network yesterday.
A network spokesperson told the Toronto Star that it had received “information” that “precludes us from continuing our relationship”.
The Canadian publication has been approached by three women who allege that the presenter was physically violent to them without their consent during sexual encounters and in their build-up. The allegations include verbal abuse, choking, punching, slapping, biting and victims having their nose and mouth covered so that breathing was difficult.
Ghomeshi has presented Q for eight years and is now suing CBC in a $50million lawsuit claiming general and punitive damages for breach of confidence and bad faith.
He has since published a 1,500-word denial on his Facebook page, because “as friends and family of mine, you are owed the truth”, arguing that the sexual activity was consensual.
He claims that the allegations are a smear campaign, engineered by an ex-girlfriend, who was angered after he ended their “casual” relationship. Allegedly, she and a freelance journalist sought to “find corroborators to build a case to defame me”.
“I’ve been fired from the CBC because of the risk of my private sex life being made public as a result of a campaign of false allegations pursued by a jilted ex-girlfriend and a freelance writer,” he wrote.
“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.”
The Toronto Star said that it was approached months ago about the allegations, but decided not to publish the story because there was no way of proving the claims. However. following CBS’ decision to fire Ghomeshi, the newspaper has run the allegations on the grounds that they are in the public interest.
“In the coming days you will prospectively hear about how I engage in all kinds of unsavoury aggressive acts in the bedroom,” he wrote. “And the implication may be made that this happens non-consensually. And that will be a lie.”
None of the women informed the police over the claims allegedly out of fear that their identity would be revealed and also over worries that their consent or acceptance of fantasy role-play discussions would be used against them as evidence of consent to the violence.
Ghomeshi claims that he told CBC about the allegations, which he vehemently denies, and argues that the network believed that the activity was consensual and fired him because “this type of sexual behaviour 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.’”
He maintains that he should not have been dismissed over his private life.
“Let me be the first to say that my tastes in the bedroom may not be palatable to some folks,” he said.
“They may be strange, enticing, weird, normal, or outright offensive to others. We all have our secret life. But that is my private life. That is my personal life. And no one, and certainly no employer, should have dominion over what people do consensually in their private life.”
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