TORONTO (AP) – Former Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio host Jian Ghomesi was arrested yesterday on sexual assault charges and ordered to live with his mother while the case that has rocked Canada’s vaunted public broadcaster is heard.
Ghomeshi, 47, was charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking, Toronto police said in a statement.
The CBC fired Ghomeshi in October after media reports of sexual assault allegations against the star first emerged. Ghomeshi, the host of Q, a popular radio show on culture that was heard on many public stations in the United States, has denied the allegations, saying he had consensual “rough sex” with women.
Ghomeshi, who first gained fame as a member of the 1990s satirical pop band Moxy Fruvous, was in court yesterday in his first public appearance since the allegations surfaced. A justice of the peace granted him bail at $100 000 on condition he turn over his passport and live with his mother. He’s due in court again on January 8.
A publication ban on details about the case has been imposed.
Ghomeshi’s lawyer, Marie Henein, said told reporters outside the court room that he will be pleading not guilty and the allegations will be addressed fully in court. A sombre Ghomeshi said nothing.
The CBC said Ghomeshi’s firing was prompted by the emergence of “graphic” evidence that he had caused physical injury to a person.
Ghomeshi defended his actions in a 1 500-word statement on Facebook then, saying women consented to having “rough sex” with him and that he’s the victim of a disgruntled ex-girlfriend.
After the Toronto Star reported several more allegations days later, Ghomeshi posted that he would confront the accusations “directly”, but wouldn’t discuss them with the media.
Police urged in late October for other women to come forward and launched an investigation after nine women contacted various media sources to report incidents of assault and sexual assault involving Ghomeshi.