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Former Canadian radio host Jian Ghomeshi is now the target of an active investigation by the Toronto police.
Sex crimes unit inspector Joanna Beaven-Desjardins told a press conference on Saturday that three separate lines of inquiry are being pursued over allegations of assault and sexual assault by the former CBC/PRI radio host.
“As of today’s date, three people have contacted us, providing us information that they have been victimized relating to these allegations,” the unit commander said. Beaven-Desjardins said the media frenzy after Ghomeshi was fired on Sunday, Oct. 26 by the CBC prompted calls to media outlets to encourage unnamed accusers to contact the police.
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Nine women have so far spoken to media outlets, including the Toronto Star newspaper and the CBC, about allegations against Ghomeshi. “We requested these media outlets to pass this information on to the persons they were speaking with to inform them of the availability of victims services,” she told the press conference.
Most of Ghomeshi’s accusers have chosen to remain anonymous. One that agreed to be named, Trailer Park Boys actress Lisa DeCoutere, is one of the three women to so far step forward to be interviewed by police investigators. DeCoutere earlier told the Toronto Star and CBC News that Ghomeshi allegedly physically attacked her, which included choking and slapping, during a date in 2003.
The CBC said senior execs viewed “graphic evidence of physical injury to a woman” allegedly caused by Ghomeshi during a crisis meeting on Thursday, Oct. 23. Ghomeshi reportedly presented the evidence, thought to be texts, emails and videos, to prove he had engaged in aggressive sexual relations with consenting partners.
But the CBC execs thought otherwise and fired the embattled radio host three days later on Oct. 26. Beaven-Desjardins said, given the “graphic evidence” of physical harm to an unidentified woman, she asked the public to “come forward with any video, photographs, social media chats relating to this investigation, to contact sex crimes [unit] immediately.”
A CBC spokesman in a statement said the pubcaster had “reached out to the police and will fully cooperate with their investigation.” The last contact from Ghomeshi came on Thursday in a short Facebook posting: “I want to thank you for your support and assure you that I intend to meet these allegations directly. I don’t intend to discuss this matter any further with the media.”
Canada’s CBC and PRI stateside are working to keep the daily radio talker Q, which Ghomeshi hosted, on air. While hosting Q, the one-time top CBC personality interviewed everyone from Barbra Streisand, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed and Drake to Salman Rushdie, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ai Weiwei and Maya Angelou.
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