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from Jian Ghomeshi’s former neighbour

Lots to tell you, but first – people have been contacting me because they know Jian Ghomeshi lived next door for years, and I’d met him a bunch of times. And now – for those of you in Borneo, who might not know – he is suddenly fired from his job as co-creator and host and superlative radio interviewer of Q, the most popular CBC radio show ever – I have that statistic from him – for alleged sexual violence – non-consensual violent sex alleged by several different women, and workplace sexual harassment. All over Facebook yesterday and the front page of the Star today. The nation is abuzz, and several people have written to ask me, as his former neighbour, what I think about it. (Can you imagine if allegations of sexual impropriety had emerged about Peter Gzowski? Oh please, I don’t even want to think about it.)

I had a crush on Jian. Handsome, extremely bright, curious, talented, those liquid eyes, that velvet voice – he was only ever charming and friendly during our encounters, though I was as fluttery as a schoolgirl.  I knew the sound of his little red Mini, knew when he left every morning for the CBC, came back to change and set off again to his endlessly fascinating life, host of this event, seen at that party.

I’d heard years ago that he had weird sexual proclivities, that a woman who’d gone out with him had reported afterwards with disgust about what she was asked to do. That there was something unsavoury. So be it – that’s his business.

But now it’s everyone’s business. His Facebook supporters are up in arms, quoting Trudeau – the nation has no rights in the bedrooms of the nation. And no question, some men have had their lives destroyed by vengeful ex-girlfriends – the bunny boilers, the “Gone Girls”.

However, there’s not one but several women here who’ve been interviewed at length, and another accusation of workplace harassment. The CBC must have known the shit storm (in the words of Mr. Lehey from Trailerpark Boys) that would arise from firing such a popular, central and highly visible figure. They must surely have an arsenal of solid facts. His $50 million dollar law suit against them otherwise would bankrupt them – or it’s the desperate gesture of an Oscar Wilde, rushing to show his followers that the allegations are lies without thinking that through.

So as Jian’s former neighbour, I have nothing but nice things to say about him. As a faithful listener of Q, likewise. As a citizen of this country, I can only assume that the CBC and the Star were very careful to be sure of their facts before acting. That the man’s sex life, involving consensual or non-consensual violent acts with young women, finally became too much of a liability for him to continue in the public eye as a media superstar.

And finally, I can only say, as we’ve all said when these stories reach the press – Dominique Strauss Kahn or Anthony Weiner texting pictures of the bulge in his underpants come to mind – WHAT WAS HE THINKING? Even if the extreme violence alleged is not true, how could he not know, he of all people, the king of Twitter, that word of his kinky habits would leak out and damage, even destroy him?

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5 Responses to “from Jian Ghomeshi’s former neighbour”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ahhh…..the Dominique Strauss-Kahn syndrome. Sex addicts. Uncontrollable sexual impulses they can't control. Absolutely charming on the outside, animals inside. DSK is one of the smartest men in France – a brilliant economist. Look how his career was ruined. These people need therapy, Beth. Someone has to tell this Jian guy that he needs to check into a clinic.

    Juliet in Paris

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hang on. I take back what I said earlier. I've just read his Facebook declaration and done some reading. Not one single charge has been laid against this man – neither with the police department or CBC Human Relations or their union.

    “We have no record of anyone filing a formal complaint related to this issue at any time,” said Carmel Smyth, president of the Canadian Media Guild, in an email response to questions.

    “There are no investigations or complaints against him,” said Const. David Hopkinson, a spokesman for the Toronto police force.

    On what basis, then, does the CBC have to fire him? On heresay? He's right to sue them.

  3. beth says:

    Juliet, we don't really know anything, so there's nothing to say yet (though that's not stopping FB and the Twitterverse, of course – and moi). Except that surely the CBC would not fire someone so incredibly prominent and popular, and the Star would not run a front page article, without a damn good reason – not one woman's story but four. I say let's all shut up until we know some facts. But the innuendo has been around for a long time – I'm not very connected and even I had heard it. So there's certainly been some kinky behaviour, Jian admits that. Whether it justifies his firing remains to be seen. The CBC is a public institution and is justifiably very careful with its reputation.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Don't be so sure about Peter Gzowski — although there weren't any references to physical violence.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

Juliet in Paris
I came to Paris in the 1990s. Decades later I’m still here. Come with me while I roam the city, the country, and beyond.

Walking Woman
I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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