The Toronto police investigation of Jian Ghomeshi is expected to ramp up this week after a third woman came forward to lodge a formal abuse complaint against the former CBC radio star.
Toronto police Inspector Joanna Beaven-Desjardins told a news conference Saturday morning that a total of three women have reported sexual-assault allegations against the former host of the cultural-affairs program Q with Jian Ghomeshi, and the force is looking into the possibility that video evidence could aid their probe.
“These people have come forward,” said Insp. Beaven-Desjardins, head of the Toronto police sex-crimes unit. “They’ve seen that other people are talking about it and it’s brought it back up in their lives.”
Mr. Ghomeshi, 47, was one of the public broadcaster’s brightest stars until he was fired Oct. 26, a decision the corporation later said it made after seeing “graphic evidence that Jian Ghomeshi caused physical injury to a woman.”
The Globe and Mail has reported that Mr. Ghomeshi and his lawyers showed CBC executives text messages, e-mails and photos in a bid to prove his rough sexual encounters had been consensual.
The Toronto Star reported he showed his bosses videos of “bondage and beating during sexual activities.”
“That’s something we have to confirm – we don’t know if there is a video or isn’t a video … we have to do our due diligence,” Insp. Beaven-Desjardins said Saturday.
A CBC spokesman said by e-mail Sunday that, “CBC has been in touch with Toronto Police Services and will co-operate fully with their investigation.”
Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash, meanwhile, said Sunday there had been no new developments in the investigation since the news conference Saturday morning.
At least nine women, two of whom were willing to have their names published, have spoken to various media outlets about the assaults they say they suffered at the hands of Mr. Ghomeshi.
In their published accounts, the women generally describe Mr. Ghomeshi choking, biting or hitting them without warning or consent during dates.
For his part, Mr. Ghomeshi said in a lengthy statement on Facebook the day he was fired – before the Toronto Star printed the first allegations against him – that while he enjoyed “adventurous” and “rough” sex, his encounters were always consensual.
He has not been charged with any crime and the allegations against him have not been tested in court.
The lawyer Mr. Ghomeshi retained in his $55-million lawsuit against the CBC did not respond to a request for comment Sunday.
Mr. Ghomeshi’s current whereabouts are unknown. He last posted a brief comment to Facebook on Thursday.
Mr. Ghomeshi’s fall from grace has been swift and dramatic. In less than a week, he has lost his Giller prize hosting gig, his publicist and his next book deal. Even Navigator, the crisis communications firm Mr. Ghomeshi hired to help him weather the allegations, dumped him.
With a report from The Canadian PressReport Typo/Error