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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘jian ghomeshi

[URBAN NOTE] “Borel’s counterpunch blindsides Henein, knocks out Ghomeshi”

I’ve already linked to Sandy Garossino’s National Observer opinion piece on Facebook. My reaction remains the same: Borel can fight back, and how!

Jian Ghomeshi and Marie Henein never saw it coming, and neither did we. The rookie Kathryn Borel entered the legal Thunderdome and beat Henein at her own game without breaking a sweat.

Round 1 of the greatest legal rope-a-dope* in Canadian history took place Wednesday inside Toronto’s Old City Hall courthouse. It was there that Borel must have appeared on the defensive, watching as the Crown dropped all criminal charges in exchange for a measly peace bond. Oh, and an apology.

In legal terms, this doesn’t even rate as a plea bargain. The apology seemed like a sop, potentially designed to give cover to a demoralized prosecution in no mood for a second helping of Henein’s trademark dish. The unmistakable inference was that the Crown lacked confidence in its complainant and star witness.

But she was just warming up.

Kathryn Borel then held Round 2 on the steps of Old Toronto City Hall all by herself. Over the course of four minutes and twelve seconds she delivered blow after merciless blow to Ghomeshi’s reputation and future. His evisceration was so swift and devastating that, had this been a real boxing match, the ref would have stopped the fight.

But no one was there to cover for him. No well-heeled lawyer could leap to his defence, intimidate Borel with smeary details of long-forgotten transgressions, or spring some hidden surprise.

She was the surprise.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 13, 2016 at 9:15 pm

[LINK] The statement of Kathryn Borel regarding Jian Ghomeshi

The Toronto Star carried in full complainant Kathryn Borel’s statement concerning Jian Ghomeshi’s decision to issue an apology andsign a peace bond in relation to Ms. Borel.

Hi everyone. Thanks for coming out and listening. My name is Kathryn Borel. In December of 2014, I pressed sexual assault charges against Jian Ghomeshi. As you know, Mr. Ghomeshi initially denied all the charges that were brought against him. But today, as you just heard, Jian Ghomeshi admitted wrongdoing and apologized to me.

It’s unfortunate, but maybe not surprising, that he chose not to say much about what exactly he was apologizing for. I’m going to provide those details for you now.

Every day, over the course of a three-year period, Mr. Ghomeshi made it clear to me that he could do what he wanted to me and my body. He made it clear that he could humiliate me repeatedly and walk away with impunity. There are at least three documented incidents of physical touching. This includes the one charge he just apologized for, when he came up behind me while I was standing near my desk, put his hands on my hips, and rammed his pelvis against my backside over and over, simulating sexual intercourse. Throughout the time that I worked with him, he framed his actions with near daily verbal assaults and emotional manipulations. These inferences felt like threats, or declarations like I deserved to have happening to me what was happening to me. It became very difficult for me to trust what I was feeling.

Up until recently, I didn’t even internalize that what he was doing to my body was sexual assault. Because when I went to the CBC for help, what I received in return was a directive that yes, he could do this, and yes, it was my job to let him. The relentless message to me, from my celebrity boss and the national institution we worked for were that his whims were more important than my humanity or my dignity. So I came to accept this. I came to believe it was his right. But when I spoke to the police at the end of 2014, and detailed my experiences with Mr. Ghomeshi, they confirmed to me what he did to me was, in fact, sexual assault.

And that’s what Jian Ghomeshi just apologized for: the crime of sexual assault. This is the story of a man who had immense power over me and my livelihood, admitting that he chronically abused his power and violated me in ways that violate the law. Mr. Ghomeshi’s constant workplace abuse of me and my many colleagues and friends has since been corroborated by multiple sources, a CBC fifth estate documentary, and a third-party investigation.

In a perfect world, people who commit sexual assault would be convicted for their crimes. Jian Ghomeshi is guilty of having done the things that I’ve outlined today. So when it was presented to me that the defence would be offering us an apology, I was prepared to forego the trial. It seemed like the clearest path to the truth. A trial would have maintained his lie, the lie that he was not guilty, and it would have further subjected me to the very same pattern of abuse that I am currently trying to stop.

Jian Ghomeshi has apologized, but only to me. There are 20 other women who have come forward to the media and made serious allegations about his violent behavior. Women who have come forward to say that he punched, and choked, and smothered and silenced them. There is no way that I would have come forward if it weren’t for their courage. And yet Mr. Ghomeshi hasn’t met any of their allegations head on, as he vowed to do in his Facebook post of 2014. He hasn’t taken the stand on any charge. All he has said about his other accusers is that they’re all lying and that he’s not guilty. And remember: that’s what he said about me.

I think we all want this to be over. But it won’t be until he admits to everything that he’s done. Thank you.

MacLean’s also carries the statement. The National Post also carries other statements, including from Ghomeshi.

CBC has since apologized for its neglect of Ms. Borel’s complaints and its creation of an unsafe working environment.

Toronto Life goes into more detail about the mechanics of the peace bond.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 11, 2016 at 9:59 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Convicting Jian Ghomeshi will be hard — for good reason”

The Toronto Star features an opinion piece by lawyer Breese Davies that makes the case for the integrity of the Canadian criminal justice system as it sets to prosecuting Jian Ghomeshi for alleged crimes. I find myself agreeing with her, mostly.

With Jian Ghomeshi about to face a packed courtroom and a daily gauntlet of jostling reporters, the stage is set for a media spectacle. Columnists will take sides. Legal pundits will pontificate. Many will be caught up in the did-he-or-didn’t-he debate and rhetoric.

But, when all is said and done — after the former CBC broadcaster is acquitted or convicted — will the public better understand our justice system? Will the country feel buoyed or soured by its close-up glimpse of how we determine guilt or innocence in emotionally charged trials?

Already, there are worrying signs that the public is being given the wrong impression of the carefully calibrated process by which we try sexual crimes in Canada. There have been calls for a presumption that complainants are telling the truth and for lowering the standard of proof that should apply in these cases.

Such calls for a justice system in which it is “easier” to secure convictions in cases of sexual assault are dangerously antithetical to basic tenets of our justice system. They threaten the fairness of criminal trials and fail to recognize that it is the person accused of a sexual offence who faces the prospect of a heavy prison sentence, inclusion on sex offender registries for years (or even life) and the associated stigma.

Just as there are myths that permeate societal thinking about sexual assault, there are also myths about the defence of sexual assault cases, which threaten to corrode public confidence in our criminal justice system.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 3, 2016 at 5:27 pm

[LINK] “Ex-CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi pleads not guilty to sexual assault charges”

It begins.

Disgraced former radio host Jian Ghomeshi today pleaded not guilty in a Toronto courtroom to all five charges against him.

The former host of CBC Radio’s cultural affairs show q is facing five charges, including four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking.

The 48-year-old did not speak with reporters as he walked into the downtown courthouse, where he was arraigned during a court appearance.

Ghomeshi, wearing a dark suit and tie, said only “not guilty” when asked how he pleaded. He had to repeat that because he wasn’t speaking into a microphone.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 3, 2015 at 3:46 am

[LINK] “Jian Ghomeshi scandal exposes workplace markers”

MacLean’s carries the CBC’s internal report investigating why Jian Ghomeshi was allowed to get away with so much. The corporation’s internal “culture of fear” is key.

A damning report detailing CBC management missteps in stopping alleged inappropriate behaviour by former radio host Jian Ghomeshi reinforces the need for safe work environments and mechanisms for employees to freely voice concerns, experts say.

The probe by outside investigator Janice Rubin found several of the allegations levelled against Ghomeshi initially went unpunished, most of them non-sexual in nature such as chronic lateness, being “moody and temperamental” and “critical and mean” to co-workers.

The report also included allegations that managers who worked with the former “Q” host failed to investigate his behaviour or take steps to stop it, describing any actions they did take as “ineffective, infrequent, and inconsistent.”

Employment lawyer Catherine Milne of Toronto-based firm Turnpenney Milne LLP said a key takeaway for human resources departments is the need for greater proactivity in addressing workplace issues that arise.

Other signs HR should be on the lookout for are increases in absenteeism or turnover in a particular work unit or a drop in performance standards, she noted.

“Those are the sorts of markers that HR should be thinking to themselves: ‘Is there something else going on there that we need to think about? Are there interpersonal workplace issues that we should look at?’” said Milne, whose firm conducts workplace investigations and represents employers and employees in workplace matters.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 20, 2015 at 9:43 pm

[LINK] “Todd Spencer and Chris Boyce on leave of absence from CBC”

CBC reports that two CBC executives linked to the Jian Ghomeshi scandal have been placed on involuntary leaves of absence.

The CBC announced Monday that two senior managers — radio executive Chris Boyce and human resources executive Todd Spencer — have been placed on leave until further notice.

CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson said the decision was related to the Jian Ghomeshi scandal but declined to offer specifics. The former host of CBC Radio’s Q was fired in late October from his job as host of the popular arts and culture show.

Ghomeshi was fired after CBC executives saw what they described as graphic evidence that he had physically injured a woman.

[. . .]

A note from Heather Conway, executive vice-president of English services, and Roula Zaarour, vice-president of people and culture, sent to staff on Monday said the past couple of months “have been difficult for many people,” but provided scant details about the leave.

“As I’m sure you can also appreciate, we will not be making any further public comment about Todd or Chris or their leaves of absence at this time,” the memo says.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 6, 2015 at 11:51 pm

[LINK] “CBC managers told of Jian Ghomeshi ‘assault’ allegations back in June”

CBC notes that CBC managers apparently were told about Jian Ghomeshi’s alleged crimes back in June of this year.

Certain CBC managers were aware back in June of allegations of “assault” — including punching and choking — involving a “series of women” by former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi, an investigation by the fifth estate has found.

Until now, there were few specifics about what CBC managers knew about the rumours that were circulating about Ghomeshi. But new information provides another layer of detail about what was going on at the time.

Prompted by those allegations, CBC says it conducted an internal investigation this summer involving “a cross-section of managers, program leaders and Q employees.” But it is also unclear to whom senior managers talked.

In a survey by CBC-TV’s the fifth estate, almost all known staffers on Ghomeshi’s radio show Q said they were not contacted by CBC management as part of any investigation.

The documentary also explores what happened when CBC managers were first shown images of Ghomeshi’s alleged violence against a woman.

[. . .]

Chris Boyce, the head of CBC Radio and a central figure in the story, said “in hindsight” it is a “good question” whether CBC should have gone to the police at that time.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 29, 2014 at 12:21 am

Posted in Popular Culture

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[LINK] “Former CBC employee ‘frustrated’ with union response to Jian Ghomeshi allegations”

CBC’s Ioanna Roumeliotis reports on the CBC’s internal response to the Jian Ghomeshi controversy. Who knew what when?

A former CBC employee who says Jian Ghomeshi, an ex-radio host at the public broadcaster, allegedly sexually harassed her at work is shocked and outraged that the nature of her allegation is being disputed.

In an interview with CBC News, the woman, who has asked to remain anonymous, says she is infuriated at suggestions she did not tell a colleague familiar with union matters in 2010 that Ghomeshi made lewd sexual comments to her.

“This is infuriating. There is not a chance in the world that I would have stuck my neck out, gone to the union —something I felt deeply uncomfortable about doing for fear of being seen as a whiner or a baby — and not said everything that was happening to me. I am not someone who holds information back.”

But what she shared is being questioned by the Canadian Media Guild, the trade union that represents most CBC employees.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 14, 2014 at 12:58 am

[LINK] “Jian Ghomeshi allegations leave Iranian-Canadians feeling sad and betrayed”

The Toronto Star‘s David Cooper describes the sense of betrayal felt by many Iranian-Canadians at the Jian Ghomeshi scandal, as a celebrity who once seemed to disprove stereotypes is now not capable of serving that position at all.

“He was an icon for so many of us in the Iranian community, particularly those of us who have any interest in media,” said Sima Sahar Zerehi, a journalist, teacher and human rights activist.

“We wanted his success to be our success. Every time he threw in a badly pronounced Farsi word on air on Q was like a coup. Every time he had [Iranian-American] comedian Maz Jobrani on the show, it was a celebration for our community.”

But Ghomeshi also offered something else — a modern, progressive Iranian-Canadian man who discussed women’s issues and sounded like a feminist.

“In a landscape littered with images of Iranian men as being sexist, misogynists, wife beaters, religious fundamentalist goons that throw acid at women’s faces and oppress them with a veil and want to deny them education and legal rights, he was a symbol of a different version of what it meant to be an Iranian man,” Zerehi said.

“So many of us wanted to believe in that. It just feels like such a betrayal.”

Written by Randy McDonald

November 13, 2014 at 3:47 am

[LINK] “Ghomeshi video showed woman’s bruises, cracked rib”

The Toronto Star‘s Kevin Donovan suggests that some of the content of Ghomeshi’s infamous sex tape shown to CBC bosses includes evidence of physical injuries. Cracked ribs fall well outside of the realm of the safe, sane and consensual, right?

CBC fired host Jian Ghomeshi after he showed them a video depicting bruising on a woman he had dated, apparently caused by a cracked rib, sources have told the Star.

The video was on Ghomeshi’s phone. The scene was the King Street West offices of Denton LLP, a law firm retained by the then Q host, who was facing allegations that his alleged rough treatment of women was about to become front-page news.

Leading up to the weekend of Oct. 25-26, with Ghomeshi’s professional future hanging in the balance, two CBC executives were invited to the Denton offices to hear and see Ghomeshi’s side of the story.

[. . .]

According to sources, the CBC executives were shown a variety of information, including a video and text messages, by the Denton lawyers in attendance at the meeting.

Sources say that the video is of a woman whom Ghomeshi had dated in the past 10 years. The video shows bruising to the woman’s body (she is partially covered in the video) and information provided to CBC that weekend, including text messages Ghomeshi had on his phone, refer to a “cracked rib.” A large bruise could be seen on the side of her body.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 12, 2014 at 11:37 pm