CBC files motion asking court to dismiss Jian Ghomeshi lawsuit
Published Wednesday, November 5, 2014 9:02AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 6, 2014 7:11AM EST
The CBC has filed a notice of motion asking the court to dismiss former radio host Jian Ghomeshi's lawsuit against the public broadcaster.
Ghomeshi, 47, launched a $55-million lawsuit against the CBC last month after he was fired from the company in the wake of assault allegations. His claim alleges breach of confidence, bad faith and defamation.
CBC said the claims filed by Ghomeshi are "without merit and an abuse of the court's process."
Ghomeshi's only legal avenue is through his union's arbitration process, according to a statement posted by the CBC.
Meanwhile, the former "Q" host has hired prominent defence lawyer Marie Henein.
The criminal lawyer is no stranger to high-profile cases. She successfully represented former Ontario attorney general Michael Bryant in the death of a Toronto bike courier, and ex-junior hockey coach and NHL agent David Frost, who was acquitted of sex-related charges.
Ghomeshi has not been charged with any offences.
The CBC said Ghomeshi was fired on Oct. 26 after the broadcaster says it saw "for the first time, graphic evidence" that the popular radio program host had allegedly "caused physical injury to a woman."
Shortly after he was terminated, Ghomeshi denied any wrongdoing in a statement posted to Facebook, saying that he has engaged in rough sex, but the acts were always consensual.
At least nine women have come forward to accuse Ghomeshi of abuse, all but two of whom have remained anonymous. Three women have filed complaints with police.
The allegations range from beating and choking to sexual harassment. None of the allegations against Ghomeshi have been proven in court. CTV News has reached out to Ghomeshi about the allegations but has not yet heard back.
York U student accuses Ghomeshi of fondling incident
Meanwhile, a former York University student is the first male to go public with allegations of impropriety involving Ghomeshi.
Jim Hounslow, who now works at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, told the Toronto Star that the alleged incident occurred when he and Ghomeshi were both attending York University in the early 1990s, and he worked for Ghomeshi who was the student federation president. In a report published online overnight, Hounslow alleges the two were waiting for an elevator when Ghomeshi "grabbed my genitals and fondled them."
In a statement to CTV Toronto, York University spokesperson Joanne Rider said that the school has conducted an extensive internal search prompted by Hounslow's comments, but has not found any record of complaints.
"We respect and support survivors of sexual violence, and encourage anyone with information to contact Toronto Police Service," Rider wrote Wednesday morning.
The allegations came after CBC executive vice-president of English services Heather Conway sent a memo to staff saying an employment lawyer had been hired to investigate claims Ghomeshi harassed his co-workers.
Described in the memo as the "leading authority" on workplace harassment, lawyer Janice Rubin will head the probe.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Collin D’Mello