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It seems that Canadian radio show host Jian Ghomeshi was right about the massive fall-out that would follow recent “false” claims of sexual harassment, but only time will tell if the truth will prevail. On Sunday, Oct. 26, Ghomeshi was dismissed from his position as host of CBC’s popular radio show, “Q.” On Tuesday, the 47-year old, posted a long message on Facebook claiming that he is innocent of all charges of sexual harassment. In his post, Ghomeshi tells his audience that just weeks after his world was turned upside down by the death of his father, he has now been forced to leave a job he loves because of an unhappy ex-girlfriend’s false claims of sexual harassment.
The Facebook communique starts with Ghomeshi explaining how proud he is of “Q” and the team of professionals with whom he worked to create the popular show. He goes on to say that he has always been a staunch supporter of the station, very vocal in his personal viewpoints and demonstrative about his love for the Canadian nation. From there he begins to explain his sexual preferences which include role-playing, submission, and dominance but not harassment.
Ghomeshi is quick to point out that his personal life and his sexual preferences are nobody’s business and assures readers that any sex acts he has ever engaged in were consensual, agreed upon by all parties. He claims that a campaign to smear his name began sometime after the first of this year when he broke off a two-year relationship which he categorizes as, “affectionate, casual and passionate.” Unfortunately, according to Ghomeshi, the young woman was not ready to break things off and she and an unnamed freelance writer joined forces in efforts to ruin him.
What followed in Ghomeshi’s words was a, “Campaign of harassment, vengeance and demonization against [him] that would lead to months of anxiety.” Yet he proclaims, “I’ve done nothing wrong. 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…”
Mr. Ghomeshi’s Facebook post warned followers that there would likely be more women coming forward. He stated that these women would also lie on him in collusion with his ex and the journalist in their efforts to portray him as a sexually aggressive man who forced women, against their will, to engage in rough sex. His claims, that the allegations of sexual harassment are nothing but, “…Salacious gossip in a world driven by a hunger for scandal,” seem to have been accurate and they also make one wonder if in fact, the truth will prevail.
To date, a total of eight women have come forward claiming that they were sexually harassed. The women report that they were subjected to unwanted, aggressive and rough sexual advances from Ghomeshi. Leading the pack is well-known Canadian actress Lucy DeCoutere who claims, like others, that during a make out session at his home, without any warning, Ghomeshi began to slap and choke her. According to DeCoutere, “He did not ask if I was into it. It was never a question.” Her story appears to corroborate the stories of seven other women, all who claim they were sexually harassed by Mr. Ghomeshi but who wish to remain anonymous.
The women all, however, tell similar tales of going out with Ghomeshi or interacting with him in the workplace and being totally unprepared when he began hitting and shoving, sometimes aggressively forcing women to perform sexual acts on him and in at least one instance groping a woman in the workplace. While Ghomeshi claims that he has never engaged in sexual harassment or rough sex without agreement from his partners, these eight women tell a shockingly different story.
Fans who initially supported Ghomeshi after his Facebook post have turned against him in scores. One fan questions why all of these women are out for vengeance, stating that he must have some idea of what he did. People are angry about the fact that it took eight women coming forward claiming sexual harassment before the “truth” came out. Another points out that Ghomeshi’s alleged behavior, “…Is not a lifestyle choice, it is an illness…get help.”
Eight women telling shockingly similar stories of sexual harassment and abuse seem to weigh heavily against Ghomeshi. His fans seem to be deserting him and the court of public opinion seems to have already convicted him. Ghomeshi, however, claims to be, “Telling this story to you so the truth is heard,” but only time and the CBC’s investigation into these allegations of Ghomeshi’s sexual harassment and abuse can reveal if the real truth will prevail.
By Constance Spruill