Nine women have now come forward to accuse former CBC star Jian Ghomeshi of sexual assault and rape. While seven of the women have not made themselves publicly known, both lawyer and author Reva Seth and Lucy DeCoutere, an actress on Trailer Park Boys, have gone public with their statements that they were raped or assaulted by Ghomeshi.
As is all too common when men are accused of rape, many media outlets have stepped forward to question why these claims were not reported immediately, or why it is that when one woman states publicly that she has been assaulted by a celebrity, other claims tend to follow. On Twitter, Antonia Zerbisias had been tweeting in support of DeCoutere under the tag #IbelieveLucy. The tag #BeenRapedNeverReported appears to have begun with Zerbisias:
— Antonia Zerbisias (@AntoniaZ) October 30, 2014
From there, the tag moved quickly, with some users referencing Ghomeshi directly, but more simply sharing their stories and speaking out in support.
#BeenRapedNeverReported Because "He was drunk. He thought it was his girlfriend in the bed. It was an accident," my parents said.
— Sex+Bex (@BexvanKoot) October 31, 2014
My mother told me she wouldn't let me wreck another marriage – I was 8 #BeenRapedNeverReported
— Diane L. Camiso (@dicamiso) October 31, 2014
#BeenRapedNeverReported The sexual assault scars are inside, not visible. Was in a relationship. Who would believe? Not many.
— SFletcher (@SFletches) October 31, 2014
I was raped by 4 different men, including my father. I was 3 the 1st time. I still can't say that sentence out loud. #BeenRapedNeverReported
— requiem_renee (@requiem_renee) October 31, 2014
he was my first boyfriend, I didn't know I was allowed to say anything #beenrapedneverreported
— mollymonster (@mollymonster) October 31, 2014
Ghomeshi, for his part, wrote on Facebook that he was fired from the CBC not due to allegations of assault, but because of a smear campaign that he stated was conducted by a “jilted ex-girlfriend and a freelance writer.”
“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.”
Meanwhile, many of the allegations made against Ghomeshi have stated that at no point did he discuss BDSM with them, or attempt to obtain consent for activities such as choking or slapping in the face. Sex Geek wrote a fascinating blog post from the perspective of someone very emerged in the BDSM community about the activities that Ghomeshi described in his post.
Carlton University is now looking into allegations that students at field placements with Ghomeshi’s show Q may also have faced harassment and abuse, based on reports that were first seen on Twitter.
Hi there @jianghomeshi. Remember louring me to ur house under false pretences? Bruises dont lie. Signed, every female Carleton U media grad.
— Sidnie Georgina (@bigearsteddy) April 10, 2014
The name in the Twitter handle, Big Ears Teddy, has featured in several of the reports that were made against Jian Ghomeshi. Lucy DeCoutere spoke about a teddy bear that Ghomeshi owned, and how “Big Ears Teddy” was turned to face the wall before he assaulted her.
News also broke yesterday that Ghomeshi’s PR firm, Navigator, was choosing to end their representation of him, stating that their opinion was that they had been lied to, and in that case, they could no longer represent his interests.