Former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi made a brief statement on Thursday in response to allegations from several women that he was physically aggressive.
"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," he posted on his Facebook page.
The statement comes as a Canadian actress broke her silence about her relationship with Mr. Ghomeshi, saying she was stunned when he choked her and slapped her across the face.
Lucy DeCoutere, 44, who plays "Lucy" on the Trailer Park Boys, says there was nothing consensual about what happened at Mr. Ghomeshi's Toronto home nearly 10 years ago. Nor was there any build-up to the event – it went from "smooching to smacking," she said. She spoke from Fredericton, NB.
"He did take me by the throat and pressed me against the wall and choked me," she told Anna Maria Tremonti, host of CBC radio's The Current Thursday morning. "And he did slap me across the face a couple times."
Ms. DeCoutere is one of nearly a dozen women who have talked about the violence they endured by Mr. Ghomeshi – but she is the first to put her name to the allegations.
She says she knows she will likely be the target of online attacks but is prepared for that if it means that another woman doesn't have to be.
Ms. DeCoutere and Mr. Ghomeshi met at a festival in Banff and she found him "charismatic and easy to chat with." The two carried on an on-line relationship, which she described as "playful and light." Later, she travelled to Toronto, in part to see him. They went for dinner, during which he bragged that extra staff had been brought in because he was there.
That didn't really impress her, she said, but she went back to his house. When the abuse began, she said, she didn't know "how to react to it." That had never happened to her before – or since.
And she didn't leave immediately. In fact, she stayed for about an hour, saying she felt it would be "impolite" to depart. She admits now that sounds "crazy."
In addition, she went out at least two more times with him – but never went back to his home or was intimate with him.
"I didn't say anything about what happened and neither did he … it was like nothing," she said.
At the time she said she was "doing TV stuff" and knew that it wouldn't be a good idea to alienate anyone as the arts world in Canada is a "small world." But she feels now that she has nothing to gain or lose from Mr. Ghomeshi.
During the interview, she lamented the place of women in society today, suggesting that no one has come forward because of the stigma attached to these sorts of events: "It's made me just think about where women sit in society and how it's not a very comfortable sofa," she said.
Ms. DeCoutere, who is also a member of the Canadian Forces, said that it was the "world's smallest surprise" when the allegations came flooding out. But it was Mr. Ghomeshi's rebuttal on his Facebook page that angered her to act.
She said it read like he was a "narcissist" who "immediately puts himself in the position of the victim." In his post he mentioned how he was still dealing with the recent death of his father and talked about his vindictive ex-girlfriend.
Ms. DeCoutere suggested that he felt he is being ostracized because of his sexual preferences. "This is not correct," she said. "I don't think anybody cares about what Jian does in his own bedroom unless he is hurting people who don't want to be hurt."
With a file from Jill Mahoney