Jian Ghomeshi blames firing on 'consensual' rough sex
TORONTO -- The CBC’s startling announcement it had abruptly severed ties with pop culture radio host Jian Ghomeshi has taken a dramatic turn.
Refusing to take his dismissal lying down, the host of the popular “Q” radio and TV show revealed Sunday he plans to sue the public broadcaster for $50 million claiming he was fired because of his penchant for “rough” sex.
“Let me be the first to say that my tastes in the bedroom may not be palatable to some folks,” Ghomeshi, 47, said in a statement posted on Facebook late Sunday. “They may be strange, enticing, weird, normal, or outright offensive to others.
“We all have our secret life. But that is my private life,” he said.
Earlier in the day, his employer issued its own statement explaining the CBC had decided to sever ties with one of the broadcaster’s biggest names. However, few details were offered.
“The CBC is saddened to announce its relationship with Jian Ghomeshi has come to an end,” the CBC said. “This decision was not made without serious deliberation and careful consideration. Jian has made an immense contribution to the CBC and we wish him well.”
Then, later in the day, the public broadcaster issued more information on social media: “Info came to our attention recently, that in CBC’s judgment, precludes us from continuing our relationship with #JianGhomeshi.”
The CBC’s announcement was followed by a tweet from the Giller Prize stating Ghomeshi would no longer be hosting its Nov. 10 gala.
It initially seemed Ghomeshi — a best-selling author, former musician and current broadcaster who has interviewed a plethora of prominent celebrities on his show — was going to walk away from the CBC quietly after 14 years.
“Thanks for all the well wishes, you guys,” he tweeted Friday. “I’m OK. Just taking some much needed personal time.”
But his lawyers, Dentons Canada LLP, subsequently announced their intention to file a lawsuit against the CBC seeking $50 million in damages. He also plans to file a grievance under the CBC’s collective agreement in a bid to get his job back.
“Our client takes this matter seriously and we will be commencing legal proceedings tomorrow against the CBC in relation to their conduct which led to Jian’s termination,” Tiffany Soucy, a spokesman for the firm told The Sun Sunday night.
Ghomeshi has posted a lengthy explanation on his Facebook hoping to set the record straight before the story spiralled further out of control.
“I was given the choice to walk away quietly and to publicly suggest that this was my decision,” he said. “But I am not going to do that. Because that would be untrue. Because I’ve been fired. And because 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 pursued by a jilted ex-girlfriend and a freelance writer,” Ghomeshi alleged. “As friends and family of mine, you are owed the truth.”
He claimed the whole mess began in the spring when he ended a relationship with a woman in her 20s whom he been seeing “on and off” for about a year.
During that time, they engaged in “adventurous forms of sex that included role-play, dominance and submission,” Ghomeshi said, adding, “We discussed our interests at length before engaging in rough sex (forms of BDSM).”
He claimed the woman encouraged their role-playing.
“We joked about our relations being like a mild form of Fifty Shades of Grey or a story from Lynn Coady’s Giller-Prize winning book last year,” Ghomeshi said, adding he did not wish to offer further details “because it is truly not anyone’s business what two consenting adults do.
“I have never discussed my private life before,” he said. “Sexual preferences are a human right.”
Ultimately, he claimed, she wanted to take the relationship to the next level and he decided to end it.
“She was upset by this and sent me messages indicating her disappointment that I would not commit to more, and her anger that I was seeing others,” Ghomeshi said.
He claimed the break-up led to “a campaign of harassment, vengeance and demonization” that alleged he had been “abusive.”
Ghomeshi said he informed the CBC about the “untrue allegations,” which he says led to months of anxiety, but in the end he was terminated.
He claimed CBC executives told him they had no doubts the sex was consensual but his sexual behaviour was “unbecoming of a prominent host on the CBC” and they were concerned the story may get out.
A Toronto Police source confirmed Sunday no complaints have been filed regarding Ghomeshi.