Jian Ghomeshi, among the best-known Iranians in Canada, has been fired by the national broadcaster over his sexual behavior. Ghomeshi said he would file a suit against the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) to get his job back.
Since 2007, Ghomeshi, 47, has hosted a daily radio and television show called “Q” focused on the arts that has won acclaim. The radio show also is heard in the United States on 180 National Public Radio stations.
The CBC announced Sunday that it was severing ties with Ghomeshi because of “information” it had received about him. “The CBC is saddened to announce its relationship with Jian Ghomeshi has come to an end. This decision was not made without serious deliberation and careful consideration. Jian has made an immense contribution to the CBC and we wish him well,” the network said.
The broadcaster said it ended its relationship with Ghomeshi after ”information came to our attention recently that in CBC’s judgment precludes us from continuing our relationship with Jian.”
In a Facebook post hours later, Ghomeshi said he had been fired because CBC believed his “sexual behavior was unbecoming of a prominent host” on the public broadcaster.
A Toronto law firm representing Ghomeshi then issued a brief statement saying it would launch a lawsuit against the CBC.
“I’ve been fired from the CBC because of the risk of my private sex life being made public as a result of a campaign of false allegations pursued by a jilted ex girlfriend and a freelance writer,” Ghomeshi said in his post.
Ghomeshi said he has “always been interested in a variety of activities in the bedroom” but only engages in “sexual practices that are mutually agreed upon, consensual, and exciting for both partners.”
He said he began to date a woman in her late 20s two years ago and that they had an “affectionate, casual and passionate” relationship that involved “adventurous forms of sex.” He went on to say he ended their relationship earlier this year, which upset the woman, and that early in the spring there was “a campaign of harassment, vengeance and demonization” that resulted in “months of anxiety.”
He continued: “It came to light that a woman had begun anonymously reaching out to people that I had dated (via Facebook) to tell them she had been a victim of abusive relations with me. In other words, someone was reframing what had been an ongoing consensual relationship as something nefarious. I learned—through one of my friends who got in contact with this person—that someone had rifled through my phone on one occasion and taken down the names of any woman I had seemed to have been dating in recent years. This person had begun methodically contacting them to try to build a story against me.”
He wrote: “Someone also began colluding with a freelance writer who was known not to be a fan of mine and, together, they set out to try to find corroborators to build a case to defame me.”
He said he informed the CBC about the matter. He has “never believed it was anyone’s business” what he does in his private affairs but he wanted his bosses to be aware of the situation.
“CBC has been part of the team of friends and lawyers assembled to deal with this for months,” he wrote. “On Thursday I voluntarily showed evidence that everything I have done has been consensual. I did this in good faith and because I know, as I have always known, that I have nothing to hide. This when the CBC decided to fire me.”
He wrote: “CBC execs confirmed that the information provided showed that there was consent. In fact, they later said to me and my team that there is no question in their minds that there has always been consent. They said they’re not concerned about the legal side. But then they said that this type of sexual behavior was unbecoming of a prominent host on the CBC. They said that I was being dismissed for ‘the risk of the perception that may come from a story that could come out.’
“To recap, I am being fired in my prime from the show I love and built and threw myself into for years because of what I do in my private life.”
Toronto law firm Dentons Canada LLP says the action will claim general and punitive damages for breach of confidence and bad faith in the amount of $50 million. The statement also said Ghomeshi will commence a grievance for reinstatement with the CBC under his contract.
“Q” is a daily national talk show that Ghomeshi created with co-workers. It is on CBC Radio One and CBC-TV featuring interviews with celebrities and prominent international figures.
Ghomeshi was born in London and is of Iranian descent. His family moved to Canada when he was 7. Ghomeshi first achieved fame as a musician with the folk-rock group Moxy Fruvous.
Ghomeshi has won several awards for his broadcasting and was named Best Media Personality in TV or radio by NOW Magazine in 2013.