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Police say three women have come forward with assault allegations against former CBC star Jian Ghomeshi. Ghomeshi has said he has engaged in rough sex, but that it was always consensual and that he plans to confront the allegations directly.

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The executive producer of Q is taking time away from work as the CBC continues to come to grips with the scandal surrounding the show's former host, Jian Ghomeshi.

Arif Noorani has decided to "take some time off while we get more clarity around the situation," said Chuck Thompson, the public broadcaster's head of public affairs, in an e-mail. He said it was the producer's decision.

Mr. Noorani could not be reached for comment late on Monday, but an automatic reply on his e-mail says he is "out of the office this week." He has been with the program since 2007, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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News of Mr. Noorani's time away comes after an intensely difficult week for CBC staff, and especially for Q, as allegations of violent sexual conduct by Mr. Ghomeshi have emerged from several women. Mr. Ghomeshi was fired on Oct. 26, and guest hosts have filled in on the program since then.

As the scandal unfolds, the CBC has promised an independent investigation, and will soon name a third-party firm to conduct the probe. In a public statement issued on Friday, CBC president and CEO Hubert Lacroix promised to hire a company with "specific expertise," and to share any recommendations to improve the broadcaster's "policies and procedures" with the public once the probe has finished.

Mr. Ghomeshi had hosted Q since 2007, and rose to become one of the corporation's most high-profile figures. His romantic life had long been the subject of gossip, and at least one former employee of the show, who has remained anonymous, has accused Mr. Ghomeshi of inapprorpriate touching and sexual comments.

Nine women have spoken to media alleging they suffered violent sexual assaults or harassing behaviour from the radio host. Three women have lodged formal complaints of sexual assault against Mr. Ghomeshi with Toronto police, spurring an investigation by the force's sex-crimes unit.

Mr. Ghomeshi, whose whereabouts are unknown, said last week on his Facebook page that he intends "to meet these allegations directly." He has filed a lawsuit against the CBC for breach of confidence, defamation and punitive damages, and a grievance for reinstatement through the union that represents him, the Canadian Media Guild.

The CBC has known since the spring that allegations against Mr. Ghomeshi might surface, but the public broadcaster stood by its star through the summer after he explained he participates in "adventurous" sexual practices but denied he had ever done so without consent.

Then, on Oct. 23, a lawyer for Mr. Ghomeshi showed CBC managers texts, e-mails and photographs of the former radio host's sexual encounters, which he believed would prove the interactions had been consensual. The Toronto Star also reported the CBC was presented with videos of "bondage and beating during sexual activities."

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In an e-mail to staff last Friday, the CBC's executive vice-president of English services, Heather Conway, said the CBC decided to dismiss Mr. Ghomeshi after seeing proof that he "had caused physical injury to a woman."

"After viewing this graphic evidence, we determined that Jian's conduct was a fundamental breach of CBC's standard of acceptable conduct for any employee," Ms. Conway told employees.

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