Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Radio and TV host’s careers shot down in flames

There have been in the past, famous radio and television personalities who have lived two lives—those of Mr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide.  The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the Scottish author, Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The story is about a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll and the evil Edward Hyde. It is really about a man who suffers from a split personality. The men I am describing to you had two lives, not unlike the characters written about in Stevenson’s novella.

John Balyo, who was the host of Common Cents on Christian Talk 660AM/92.9FM, in Grand Rapids, Michigan was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 11.

A former BBC radio presenter in London, U.K. who was hailed by Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi for entertaining her over the airwaves during her years in captivity, was charged with numerous sex crimes over a 30-year period. Dave Lee Travis, 68, once one of the best known DJs in Britain, is accused of 11 counts of indecent assault and one sexual assault on women, including a 15-year-old girl, between 1977 and 2007.

Jimmy Savile was one of Britain's biggest stars in the 1970s and 1980s but since his 2011 death, police have discovered he had committed sex crimes on an unprecedented scale. Savile's offences, spanned six decades from 1955. An inquiry has led to the arrests of a number of household British TV and radio names from that time,

 Dave Herman, the former radio DJ host of New York City’s Dave Herman Rock and Roll Show on WNEW, was charged in a child sex case. Herman, 77, was arrested in a rendezvous a 7-year-old New Jersey girl the Virgin Islands. 

A former Winnipeg radio DJ who faces several sex-related charges was once a Scout leader. Chris Elwick is charged with sexual assault, sexual interference and possession of child pornography.

A Nashville radio host is accused of sex crimes involving a minor. Metro police arrested Fred Buc following a grand jury indictment. He is accused of exposing himself during a webcam exchange with an undercover officer who was using the Internet profile of an underage girl,

Investigators say 74-year-old former TV host Edward Meloan, and his wife, in Columbia, South Carolina were sexually involved with boys in North Augusta. Meloan worked at the station for 28 years, retiring in 1981. But investigators said that as far back as 1968, Meloan engaged in a wide variety of sex acts with young boys.

The listing of these seven sex abusers in this article is for the purpose of stating that for some reason which I can’t fathom, many public figures risk their careers, livelihood and freedom to indulge in illicit sexual activities. 

However, the rest of this article is about a former radio host of a very popular Canadian radio show who’s alleged sexual and physical antics were indeed extremely weird. The man I am referring to is Jian Ghomeshi, the host of CBC’s radio show called Q.  His program is a national arts magazine show. The program is also syndicated to public radio stations in the  United States through Public Radio International.

Since its inception in 2007, Q has garnered the largest audience of any cultural affairs program in Canada and has become the highest-rated show in its morning time slot in CBC history. Q is also now broadcast on 180 NPR/PRI stations across the United States and it is also syndicated on U.S. television. The Washington Post recently named Q as “the most popular new arts and culture radio show in America.”

In 2012, Jian Ghomeshi was awarded the prestigious New York Festivals international radio broadcasting gold medal for “Best Talk Show Host.” He was previously awarded the gold medal for “Talk Show Interview” of the year for his feature length world-exclusive with Leonard Cohen, in 2010.  The NOW Magazine had named Jian “Best Media Personality” in TV or radio, and in 2013, Maclean’s Magazine named him one of “The 50 Most Important People in Canada,” and Toronto Life listed Jian as one of “The 50 Most Influential Torontonians.”

What follows in this article are accusations by nine women who have met and/or have been associated with this man to some degree or another. Keep in mind that so far, the allegations are accusations that have not yet been proven in a court of law.  However, because of the number of accusations laid against this man, I will presume that most of them if not all of the accusations are true, based on two factors—the number of accusations by nine different woman in which the main theme of sexual and/or physical abuse is present in the accusations and my belief in that old adage—Where there is smoke, there is also fire.

Unfortunately for him, his strange and unwelcomed sexual and physical assaults are what destroyed his reputation and his career as one of Canada’s finest radio hosts. Apparently his behavior was widely known in CBC for over 10 years however, his victims kept silent because those who worked at the CBC didn’t want to face this abusive man’s wrath.

One of the radio’s show’s producers told the Toronto Star that everyone connected with the show were on pins and needles and were afraid of him because Ghomeshi had created an environment of tyranny. She said that this made it possible for him to continue with his conduct towards the women connected to the show.  

In the year, 2010, a young producer of the show reported to the show’s executive producer that Ghomeshi had said he wanted to “hate fuck” her, and had groped her buttocks. The executive producer suggested there was no point confronting Mr. Ghomeshi about his actions. The executive producer's further response to her was, “He’s never going to change, you’re a malleable person, let’s talk about how you can make this a less toxic work environment for you.” No one was going to talk to Ghomeshi since he was too important a person in CBC. The show was a juggernaut at that point in time. His face and name were inextricably linked with the Q. radio show.

When the young producer had heard lurid stories back in 2007 about Ghomeshi’s private life which included accounts of him punching, choking, and pulling the hair of the women he dated, she wrote the stories off as merely kinky behaviour and pushed ahead with her own career. The woman had assisted in the creation of one of the network’s most popular and acclaimed programs but she recounted in a recent lengthy interview that the next three years on Q were hellish.

The woman, now 35, also said she observed some unusual dating strategies by Ghomeshi. He would search for messages about him posted on Twitter or Facebook by women who appeared attractive and then he contacted them directly. According to her, he did this every single night. He was soliciting women non-stop. These sites were his playground. The now ex-CBC employee said she had not been willing to have her name published because she was fearful of backlash on social media, and from the Q star himself.

Thirteen women, including Trailer Park Boys actress, Lucy DeCoutere and journalist and author Reva Seth, have spoken out in the Toronto Star and other media alleging that Ghomeshi choked them, pulled their hair and punched them hard in their faces and on their heads. The 47-year-old radio host met some of these women during his 2012 tour to promote his best-selling memoir, while other women he met at cultural events or at the CBC.

A woman from southeastern New Brunswick shared more details of the sexual violence she alleges she suffered at the hands of Ghomeshi. She spoke to the Toronto Star and told CBC's Information Morning Moncton that Ghomeshi choked and beat her with his belt, smothered her until she almost blacked out, and left her with severe bruises on her body after a weekend at his house in Toronto in 2012.

She said that Ghomeshi texted the woman soon after the encounter after she had returned home and said in his message that he was smitten with her, he adored her, he missed her and he was thinking of her.

Her allegations came after a string of similar accusations from other women who did not want to be named but who have appeared in recent days on the CBC and in the Toronto Star.

In a statement on October 26, Ghomeshi said that any acts of violence or rough sexual play he engaged in were consensual. I will get to that later in this article.

The latest alleged victim, who is in her mid-20s, disputes Ghomeshi statement. She said, “He pushed me against the wall immediately, started making out with me, and then he led me upstairs, told me to get on my knees, and then proceeded to hit me very hard across my head a few times to the point where I couldn’t see straight [as] my vision was blurred.”

She said Ghomeshi explained to her that he had “these violent types of tendencies.” However, he assured her it was ‘pure text fantasy’ and that none of it would happen in real life. And so when he was violent with her without any talk of it ahead of time at his house, she didn’t see it coming. It blindsided her. She was too shocked, scared and star-struck to tell him to stop.  She said that he would hold his hand over her nose and mouth in front of a mirror to the point where she was blacking out.

I find it interesting that he would refer to his violence as mere fantasies. A fantasy is something that is a mental phenomenon and not a physical act. When he was slapping the women, punching them, forcing them onto the floor and groping them, what was he fantasizing during those moments?  Whatever it is; it is a sick form of behavior towards women. It leads me to suspect that he is suffering from some form of mental illness. I am not suggesting that he is insane—just mentally sick.

She says she also cautioned him, saying that if he hurt any other women like that, someone was bound to report it to the police or the media. His response was, “Do you live in the ghetto? What’s wrong with you? As if anything like that would happen.”

This man is incredibly naïve. Did he really believe his last statement to her? It was not only reported to the media which then flashed it all across Canada, it was also reported to the Toronto Police Service by three of his victims. 

After he made that asinine statement, she said that when Ghomeshi took off his belt, put it around her neck, he started leading her around the bedroom and down the hall, “pulling really hard.” Then he removed the belt and started beating her on her back with it. She said that the alleged incident, which she says lasted about 30 minutes, only ended after they ended up having intercourse.  Why! Why would any woman want to have sex with a man who mistreated her in the manner that physically abused her?

Another woman accused Ghomeshi of attacking her. She was attending a music festival being held in Owen Sound in 2002 where Ghomeshi was performing.  She said that they met after the show and he insisted that they go to his hotel room; which they did. She said that soon after they arrived in his room, he kissed her, squeezed her neck, then slapped her and shove his fingers into her mouth.

Again another woman had a meeting with Ghomeshi, this time in a park in 2005.  He pushed her down on a bench and choked, smothered, bit and groped her during another music festival.

A woman says that Ghomeshi, in 2005, choked her, grabbed her, and otherwise smothered her, all without her consent.

A former CBC employee alleges that Ghomeshi said "I want to hate-f**k you" to her, among other unwanted sexual advances. Despite her complaining to her employer, no action was taken and she subsequently left the CBC.

A CBC producer in her mid-20s  in 2012 whose "dream" is was to work for Q, went out with Ghomeshi for drinks after a book signing. After returning to his hotel room, he allegedly threw her against the wall and roughly fondled her. She performed fellatio "just to get out of there."

In 2012, a Ghomeshi fan went to one of his book signings. After in-person flirtation, she says they began to correspond with sexualized text messages (much of it violent, she says). Upon meeting in person, things turned aggressive, and Ghomeshi allegedly shoved her against a wall, choked her and hit her in the head.

Again in 2012, another fan went to a book signing, and Ghomeshi courted her. The accuser says they went on a harmless first date, but then when she went to his Cabbagetown house in Toronto for a second date, she says things turned violent. Their alleged sexual encounters involved belts, overly aggressive fellatio and it left her with deep bruises, which she says he said he found "sexy."

It should be obvious by now to anyone reading this article that this man would appear to have a distinct hatred of women. He uses them for his own satisfaction, be it humbling women by beating and/or choking them or having sex with them. Any man who acts in this manner towards women certainly doesn’t love them.  He is indifferent to their feelings. These are the actions of a psychopath—one who has no empathy for others. These unfortunate women who were his victims initially believed that he loved them or at least respected them. They soon learned otherwise.

Why do some men get off seeing women getting hurt? If you walked into a room in which men like Ghomeshi was abusing a woman, you might very well stumble onto a scene of violent intensity in which the woman is hurt, degraded and insulted.  The acts attributed to Ghomeshi, striking, choking and using abusive language is common fare of what you would find in pornography of today. There is something about the toxic mix of sex and violence that attracts men like Ghomeshi. And when he physically abuses his victims, I am convinced it gives him a brief dopamine rush. The trouble with these kinds of men who are continuously drawn to this kind of violence against women—they become desensitize and need to increase the intensity of their violence to get that same rush they got initially

Almost every expert or victim who writes about psychopaths mentions their Jekyll and Hyde personalities. The Jekyll side usually diminishes over time. However, the Hyde side reveals itself when it becomes public knowledge. Those discoveries are usually just the tip of the iceberg, since psychopaths are excellent at hiding their bad deeds and when they are caught, lying about them. 

Now let me say from the get go; this man has not been convicted of any of these crimes. He might really be innocent. However as has been said in the past, where there is smoke, there is a fire. In Ghomeshi’s case, there is so much smoke whirling around him, one is tempted to presume that there has to be a fire somewhere in all that smoke. We will only know for sure after his trial.

Ghomeshi’s explicit discussion of BDSM (referring to bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism in sexual activities) has brought an often ignored topic into public discussion thereby opening bedroom doors and inviting the Canadian public into a discussion about what constitutes sexual play and what is sexual abuse. According to Canadian law, there are no rules differentiating consensual violence during sexual activities and physical abuse. The Supreme Court of Canada stated that violence prior to or during the sex act is criminal. Minor physical conduct during sex is not criminal if it is consensual however it becomes criminal when severe violence is part of the sex act which the women who complained about Ghomeshi’s conduct said he heaped upon them.  Obvious bodily harm can hardly be consensual since no one in his or her right mind would consent to it.  

Ghomesh said in an interview; “Let me be the first to say that my tastes in the bedroom may not be palatable to some folks. They may be strange, enticing, weird, normal, or outright offensive to others. But that is my private life. And no one, and certainly no employer, should have dominion over what people do consensually in their private life.”

He also said in an interview; “I have always been interested in a variety of activities in the bedroom but I only participate in sexual practices that are mutually agreed upon, consensual and exciting for both partners.”

Now what kind of man would claim that slapping, beating, choking and biting women is consensual?  It is a man who doesn’t have empathy (concerns about the feelings of others) and that kind of man is referred to as a psychopath. 

While the accusations against Ghomeshi are perhaps more titillating than usual because of the BDSM details, the issue here isn't how much he likes to have sex, but whether or not he limits his sexual proclivities to women who are willing partners.  Apparently, they weren’t.

There is a lot of continuing prejudice against people who enjoy consensual BDSM. But that shouldn't distract from the only issue that matters here—which is whether or not there had been consent. The difference between BDSM with consent and BDSM without it is like comparing the difference between consensual sex and rape. The difference between the two is salesmanship. Ghomeshi was selling rotten goods to his victims (all about 20 years his junior) which became obvious to them as soon as they and Ghomeshi were alone.

Each woman said she remembers Ghomeshi being initially sweet and flattering, then later suggesting or hinting at violent sex acts. When they failed to respond or expressed displeasure, they recalled Ghomeshi dismissing his remarks as “just fantasies,” reassuring them he wouldn’t ask them to do anything they weren’t comfortable with. The he began pgysically abusing them.

The women deny that “safe words” were employed in the relationship. I think the one word Ghomeshi would have heard the women say to him repeatedly was “STOP!”  That was about as effective as yelling that word to a raging elephant running towards them.

Although CBC executives remained silent over the years, they couldn’t sit on this problem with his man any longer when the allegations by the women began biting them on their collective ass. On October 23, 2014 they saw for the first time, graphic video evidence that this weirdo had caused physical injuries to a woman. On October 26, after viewing the video, they fired him. The official announcement was; “Information came to CBC’s attention recently that in CBC’s judgment precludes us from continuing our relationship with Ghomeshi.”

Up to October 25th he was a powerful man hosting the network’s flagship mid-morning talk show, Q. The CBC executives wanted this man purged from the CBC so the next day he was fired and ordered not to return to the Toronto CBC’s headquarters building. The large posters in the lobby of the building depicting Ghomeshi were quickly removed from the walls. The rapid-fire CBC human-resources commando action undertaken to remove this man would put the Soviet purging of the powerful Lavrentiy Beria on June, 6, 1953 to shame.

The executives later declared to the media, “Given that these matters are now before the courts and the grievance arbitration process, we will be limited in our communications. We look forward to the opportunity to fully disclose the facts of these matters. We are extremely confident that CBC will be seen to have acted very quickly when we concluded that we could not continue our employment relationship with Jian Ghomeshi. In the fullness of time, we believe that the information will demonstrate that the CBC acted as a prudent and responsible employer.” Responsible employer? Where was their responsibility towards their female employees for the past ten years?” It was buried somewhere out of sight. The CBC was embarrassed and justly so when it became apparent to the general public that their golden boy was a dangerous freak working in their midst and they had ignored the complaints of their employees for so long. 

The Toronto police have now opened a criminal investigation into Jian Ghomeshi after three women filed police complaints against the former CBC radio host. Possibly more women in the near future will file charges.  

Ghomeshi has launched a $55-million lawsuit against the CBC and is also grieving his dismissal through the union process.  Quite frankly, I seriously doubt that he will be successful in either process. He even had the temerity to threaten a reporter investigating him by saying, “You need to watch yourself. People in this city need to understand that I have a long memory. You need to understand that and be very, very careful.” What this man didn’t appreciate was that his alleged victims also have very, very long memories and their recollections of what he did to them years ago have come back to bite him in his ass.  

Ghomeshi’s lawyer, Neil Rabinovitch, publicly stated to the media that his client had been harassed by his former girlfriend for several months by contacting other women and former partners of Ghomeshi in support for her allegations. This makes me wonder if his former girlfriend was also subjected to beatings, choking and abusive language by Ghomeshi.

Now here is where Ghomeshi’s lawyer in my opinion made a terrible blunder. He said to the media, “Ghomeshi does not engage in non-consensual role play or sex and any suggestion of the contrary is defamatory [and] wrongly suggesting criminal conduct by our client is actionable. By using the word, “actionable,” he is saying that his client will sue anyone that publicly makes such suggestions. That threat of his will go the ways of the dodo bird and the passenger pigeon—both of which don’t exist anymore.

I have no idea as to what Ghomeshi did when he had sex with women so I won’t comment on that other than to say that cupping a woman’s buttocks with his hands (as alleged by one of the women) and brushing up close and rubbing one’s penis against the buttocks of a woman which is called frottage (as alleged by another woman) are sexual in nature and when done without their consent; are both criminal acts.

The words, “role player” means amongst other things; a person who makes deceitful pretenses. Is it not conceivable that when Ghomeshi invited some of the women to his home, he was deceitful in not disclosing his real purpose which was; without any warning, physically attacking them without their consent? 

When I was a private investigator, a number of lawyers retained my services to investigate the stories their clients had previously told them with respect to the charges they were facing. Some of their clients had not told their lawyers the truth. When uninformed lawyers went to court and told the court what they believed to be the truth, they ended up being embarrassed when the real truth was presented to the court, supported by believable witnesses.

Later when I was practicing law in criminal courts, I represented a man who was charged with threatening a woman with death. That is a serious crime in Canada. He only gave me part of the copy of the Crown’s disclosure documents to me and told me that he didn’t threaten the woman. The crown (prosecutor) came to me and said that if my client would sign a peace bond, the matter would end right then and there. My new client refused the offer, telling me that it was her word against his. Guess what he didn’t tell me? He had made the threat over the phone and unknown to me and him, the threat was recorded. As it was being played in court, my face was red in anger whereas his face was white in fear. He deservedly got six months in jail.

I have always told my clients; “Tell me the truth. I don’t want to learn what the truth is during your trial.”

Ghomeshi’s lawyer also said that he reviewed email and text messages and related material he had relationships that will discredit the women who wrote and sent them. I won’t comment on those messages and texts as I haven’t seen them.

Many victims of abuse by men are hesitant in filing a complaint against their abusers if they are the only ones who went to the police. But when others go to the police, this gives these hesitant victims an incentive to also file their complaints knowing that they are more likely to be believed because their complaints aren’t the only complaints filed with the police.

Ghomeshi publicly stated that his problems began to unravel this year, as the unproven claims of sexual aggression led to an investigation by a freelance reporter in co-operation with the ex-girlfriend, neither of whom were named by Mr. Ghomeshi in his account. He said. They “set out to try to find corroborators to build a case to defame me.”

After breaking up with his girlfriend, he said, “They began a campaign of harassment, vengeance and demonization against me that would lead to months of anxiety.” He claimed she contacted former girlfriends with claims of sexual abuse, and as he put it, “reframing what had been an ongoing consensual relationship as something nefarious. Let me be the first to say that my tastes in the bedroom may not be palatable to some folks. They may be strange, enticing, weird, normal, or outright offensive to others. We all have our secret life. But that is my private life. That is my personal life. And no one, and certainly no employer, should have dominion over what people do consensually in their private life. I am still in shock.” unquote

“Come on Ghomeshi. Give us a break. What you are alleged to have done to those women with respect to the alleged physical assaults against them was during their private lives and if done to them, they were not yours to give without their consent. How could you possibly believe that hitting, choking, pulling hair, smacking and punching women constitutes acceptable foreplay to a sex act?” 

Let me give you, my readers a brief 101 lesson on sadomasochism and sex. It is the giving or receiving of pleasure—sometimes sexually induced from violent physical acts that involve the infliction or the reception of pain and/or humiliation. It involves both the person who inflicts the pain and humiliation and the recipient who seeks it. It is a two-way process in which both parties to this form of sexual relationship willingly agree to participate in those two roles. 

Many participants of sadomasochism (and yes, there are a great many of them) describe the enjoyment of the experience.  Sometimes there is an activity/passive switch, from someone being 100% active to 100% passive (although there is some reasonable assumption that a passive participant can become very involved in the activity. But what is paramount in this form of activity is that the practitioners of sadomasochism usually seek out sexual gratification from these acts and those who participate in this form of activity; mutually agree to do it.

Ghomeshi presuming and stating that his victims enjoyed him abusing them in the manner that he did, is an insult to our collective intelligence. His answer to the allegations is what one can expect from a man who is suffering from an extreme case of narcissism—a person who only thinks of him or herself. In my opinion, he is a megalomaniac—one who is constantly searching for power. In his case, he is searching for power over women.

He is also very stupid. Didn’t he realize that if he cut off the oxygen to the women’s brains while choking them, they could end up having a stroke?  The man’s mind is a train wreck running out of track. He certainly needs psychiatric help and if he doesn’t get it, his life will crash.

University of Western Ontario journalism students were told two years ago that interning at Q was “off limits” over concerns about host Jian Ghomeshi’s “inappropriate” behaviour. A journalism professor at the University of Western Ontario said that students were cautioned against interning at Q due to concerns about former host Jian Ghomeshi's behavior after he allegedly preyed on a young graduate who wanted to work at Q.

A male former student at York University who worked for  Jian Ghomeshi when Ghomeshi was student federation president alleges the disgraced CBC host “grabbed my genitals and fondled them.” Jim Hounslow, now the e-learning specialist at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, said Ghomeshi’s sudden attack on him while they waited for an elevator was part of a pattern of conduct towards fellow students. Hounslow just happened to be male. Hounslow said he and others at the campus viewed Ghomeshi as a “sexual predator.” Hounslow recalls Ghomeshi saying that he had just been “playing around.”

Ghomeshi’s self-serving actions have destroyed his career and any hope of ever being accepted by any network as a host, as a participant or as an employee in any show on radio or television. His reputation and career which reached higher than the vast majority of us has been fired upon, not by one complainant but by at least nine complainants and subsequently his career as a host of talk shows and his future is flaming downwards to its inevitable destruction.

Ghomeshi released his memoir in 2012 but on October 31st of this year, his publisher announced it would not be publishing his book. The announcement from Penguin comes after two public relations agencies said they would no longer be representing him. Others, including the recording artist Lights who was managed by Ghomeshi, have also distanced themselves from the former radio host in recent days as more allegations were revealed. Further, Polaris Music Prize announced that they too dumped Ghomeshi and as such, he won’t be a member of that organization’s jury.

Now, let face it. There are women who are suckers for losers and no doubt will seek him out just as women seek out killers in prison. If that is so, he will continue to get his jollies by physically abusing those women who are too stupid to realize that they are the sustenance for his strange form of foreplay. If they get their jollies at the same time, so be it. They can hardly complain unless, of course, his physical act causes them serious injuries. 

Since he has sued the CBC and the police are investigating the allegations of three of the alleged victims of Ghomeshi, I will stay on top of this matter and update any new pertinent information that I learn about.

In the United Kingdom, there have been as many as 135 TV, film and radio stars who have been investigated for sexual abuses against children.  

UPDATE:  October 2, 2015-----Ghomeshi has elected to be tried by a judge alone and he has pleaded not guilty. 

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