A celebrity sexual assault case is rocking Canada as ex-radio show host Jian Ghomeshi is arrested.
Ghomeshi, 47, has been the ‘golden voice’ of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He is so popular he has even been interviewed by Larry King and Lena Dunham, reports NBC News.
Ghomeshi’s reputation as a well-respected interviewer has been tarnished by women who have filed charges of sexual violence against him.
“His program was huge. The CBC needed to attract a younger audience, and here was this guy who was cool, hip and connected. He got all the American stars, all the hip, British bands. He was plugged into everything current,” shared Mike Gasher, a journalism professor at Concordia University told NBC.
Ghomeshi surrendered to authorities in Toronto on Wednesday and faces four counts of sexual assault and one count of ‘overcome resistance-choking.’ His bail has been set at $100,000. He agreed to surrender his passport and to live with his mother as a condition of the bond.
Ghomeshi’s lawyer told a mass of media outside the courtroom that Ghomeshi will be pleading not guilty. She also said that all of the allegations will be addressed in court. Ghomeshi had nothing to say.
CBC fired Ghomeshi as host of its radio show Q back in October. At the time, the firing was brought about by an emergence of mounting evidence that he had caused physical injury to another person.
Ghomeshi wrote a 1,500 word statement in defense of his actions after he was fired. He posted the statement on Facebook. In the statement he said that the woman consented to having rough sex with him and that he is now the victim of a disgruntled ex-girlfriend. Days later the Toronto Star reported several more allegations. Ghomeshi went to Facebook again and posted that he would confront the allegations directly, but would not discuss the situation with media. Shortly after the second post, he deleted his Facebook account.
In late October the police urged for other women to come forward. They launched an investigation after nine women told various media outlets that Ghomeshi had sexually assaulted them, reports ABC News.
Actress Lucy DeCoutere, a star of the long-running TV series Trailer Park Boys, came forward and told officials that Ghomeshi had pressed her against a wall and choked and slapped her across the face several times when he brought her home from their date.
DeCoutere, who is a captain in the Royal Canadian Air Force, was the first woman to make allegations.
“It has been an overwhelming and painful time for many people, including myself, but also very inspiring,” DeCoutere said in a statement.
Reva Seth, an author and lawyer, was the second woman to go public telling the Huffington Post that Ghomeshi put his hands around her throat and sexually assaulted her.
Ghomeshi launched a $55-million lawsuit against the CBC after he was fired for breach of confidence and defamation. On Tuesday, he dropped the lawsuit. A union grievance that he filed for dismissal without proper cause has not been dropped.