Jian Ghomesi: The Story Keeps Getting Worse

Above: Jian Ghomeshi on the 2014 CSA Broadcast red carpet (Photo: George Pimentel/WireImage)

Sunday afternoon, former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi tried to get out in front of what he framed as a smear campaign by a jilted ex-girlfriend and a rogue freelance journalist. He chose to break the story himself, jumping in front of allegations of assault from several women by suggesting that though his interest and participation in sexual activities he described as “50 Shades of Grey lite” may not be everyone’s cup of tea, they were always consensual.

He assured his numerous fans that he had done nothing wrong and thanked them for their support. He said he was fired unjustly, that he intended to sue the national broadcaster and that the truth would come out.

It appears that is indeed going to happen and it doesn’t look good for the 47-year-old broadcaster.

Eight different women from across Canada have accused Ghomeshi of various abusive acts, ranging from unwelcomed touching to choking and striking them. One of the women, actress Lucy DeCoutere, has come forward public with her account of an incident from 2003. She alleges that in the midst of making out with the Q host, he began to choke her and slapped her in the face three times without warning or consent.

Late Thursday, lawyer and blogger Reva Seth followed suit, sharing her experience with the then-host of Play and offering an explanation of why she had never come forward about the incident before now.

The other accounts are all similar – roaming hands, unexpected and unwelcomed physicality, and dismissive reactions when confronted with objections and questions about his behaviour. Several of the women mention a teddy bear that he would shield from seeing the physical altercations. It’s the kind of intimate detail that sends a shiver down yoru spine as the allegations continue to mount. It feels to intimate to be fabricated and shared between women who don’t appear to have any other connection to one another besides their individual violent encounters with Ghomeshi.

On Thursday, crisis communication firm Navigator and PR agency rock-it promotions stated that they are no longer working with Ghomeshi and the CBC announced that a third party investigation into the allegations against the former host will take place.

Though the media focus remains trained on Ghomeshi – and rightfully so – the CBC should not avoid further scrutiny.

While a third party investigation into these allegations at this point is certainly warranted, it is also several years too late. One of the women that has come forward is a CBC employee who says she took her complaints to her union rep, and when she was called into a meeting Q‘s executive producer to address the situation, she was asked “what (she) could do to make this a less toxic work environment?”

Since the story first broke, there have been various “I’d heard stories” pieces published about Ghomeshi, many sharing observations of awkward interactions and whispers among colleagues that echo pieces of Carla Ciccone’s xojane.com blog “I Accidentally Went on a Date With a Presumed-Gay Canadian C-List Celebrity Who Creepily Proved He Isn’t Gay” that many have long believed was about Ghomeshi. (Note: the title of the piece now includes an “IT HAPPENED TO ME” declaration, emphasis theirs.)

This story continues to develop and deepen.

While Ghomeshi attempted to stem the tide on Sunday, it now looks like he’s barely treading water and it may only be a matter of time before he’s swept under.

The Jian Ghomeshi Scandal: This Is Just The Beginning

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