Toronto Police now investigating Jian Ghomeshi allegations
Published Friday, October 31, 2014 12:49PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 31, 2014 11:06PM EDT
Two women have come forward to Toronto Police with allegations against Jian Ghomeshi, a police spokesperson said Friday night.
The women contacted police on Friday and the allegations are being investigated.
Actress Lucy DeCoutere is one of the two women who went to police. In interviews with CTV News and other media outlets this week, she alleged that Ghomeshi grabbed her by the throat and slapped her after they went out to dinner in 2003.
Earlier Friday, the CBC said it fired Ghomeshi after seeing “graphic evidence” that the radio host had allegedly harmed a woman.
Chuck Thompson, head of public affairs for the CBC, outlined the series of events that led to Ghomeshi’s termination on Sunday in a statement emailed to CTV News.
The CBC would not say if the graphic evidence was a video or videos of bondage or beatings during sexual activity, citing the ongoing investigation being conducted by an outside agency.
However, sources close to the investigation told CTV News that Ghomeshi himself showed such videos to CBC management. Ghomeshi was trying to show “how bruising could happen and it could still be consensual,” sources said.
Those videos have not been seen by CTV News.
In his statement, which was also sent to all CBC employees, Thompson says that on Oct. 23, the CBC saw “for the first time, graphic evidence” that Ghomeshi had allegedly “caused physical injury to a woman.”
“At no time prior to last week was CBC aware that Jian had engaged in any activities which resulted in the physical injury of another person,” the statement says.
After viewing the evidence, the broadcaster “determined that Jian’s conduct was a fundamental breach of CBC’s standard of acceptable conduct for any employee,” the statement says.
Ghomeshi was fired on Oct. 26.
The CBC previously announced that it has hired a third-party company to conduct a “rigorous, independent” investigation into the allegations against Ghomeshi.
Nine women have come forward to accuse Ghomeshi of abuse. The allegations range from beating and choking to sexual harassment.
Ghomeshi said in a brief Facebook statement Thursday that he will “meet these allegations directly.”
The latest CBC statement says that Ghomeshi told his employers in the spring that the Toronto Star was probing allegations by an ex-girlfriend that he had engaged in “non-consensual ‘rough sex.’” Ghomeshi had received a letter from journalists about the allegations, but the CBC was not approached.
“Jian firmly denied there was any truth to those allegations,” the statement said.
In early summer, an employee of Ghomeshi’s show, ‘Q,’ received a letter with allegations that the host’s behaviour may have “crossed over” into the workplace. The CBC investigated the allegations, including conducting interviews with CBC management and employees, and the probe “determined that there were no complaints of this nature about Jian’s behaviour in the workplace.”
Ghomeshi also assured the CBC that the allegations were untrue, and that he “would be able to prove that he had done nothing wrong” if the Star continued its investigation.
“At that time, the Toronto Star did not move ahead with the story and, based on Jian’s denial, we continued to believe Jian,” the statement says.
That changed on Oct. 23.
Meanwhile, Carleton University is “gathering information” about whether any of its journalism students has worked at the CBC in Toronto in the wake of the allegations.
In a statement issued to CTV News on Friday, the university said it is “aware of allegations about former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi that may involve a Carleton journalism student or graduate.
“The university is gathering information about field placements that our students have done at CBC Toronto and whether there were any at the Q program in particular. We have no information at this time that any of our students have been victims.”
Counselling support services will be offered to anyone on campus who requires help, the statement added.
The school had not recently invited Ghomeshi to speak at the school. However, he was a guest at the Ottawa Writers Festival in 2012, the statement said.
Questions about whether a student had once had problems with Ghomeshi arose after a Twitter account established in early April that garnered little attention at the time was noticed this week.
The account, @bigearsteddy, appears to be named for a stuffed bear that Ghomeshi owns that he calls Big Ears Teddy. He even thanks the bear for being his travelling companion in the acknowledgment pages of his book, “1982.”
The Twitter account directed 10 tweets at Ghomeshi over three days, April 9 to 11. One asks whether he remembers luring the user to his house “under false pretences,” and suggests that “bruises dont lie (sic).
“Signed, every female Carlton U media grad.”
Ghomeshi has not been charged with any crime, and none of the allegations have been proven in court.