Eight women have now come forward to accuse Canadian radio celebrity Jian Ghomeshi of sexual abuse, including actress Lucy DeCoutere. And this round of accusations is even more stomach-churning than the first.
According to the Toronto Star, which has had this scandal on lock in a truly impressive way, all of the reported incidents of abuse — at least the ones they know about — involve roughness in the context of sex, sans consent for said roughness. Most of the women fear being identified, because, as Anna North so expertly points out in the New York Times, women are intimately familiar with the hellhole of abuse that awaits women who go public about sex crimes in the internet age.
There's not much more to add, so I'll just let Kevin Donovan's reporting do the talking.
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TV actress Lucy DeCoutere:
DeCoutere, who plays Lucy on Trailer Park Boys, recalls an incident in 2003 when she alleges Ghomeshi, without warning or consent, choked her to the point she could not breathe and then slapped her hard three times on the side of her head.
"He did not ask if I was into it. It was never a question. It was shocking to me..."
A former CBC producer:
She alleges Ghomeshi roughly threw her against the wall and kissed and fondled her forcefully. She states that she then performed fellatio on Ghomeshi "just to get out of there."
"I was saying to him, "I don't want to do this, I want to work for you."
As she was leaving the room crying, she says, she heard Ghomeshi say, "I'll talk with my executive producer about you."
The next morning she received a text from Ghomeshi. "Happy Thursday," it read. She was shocked.
A fan who Ghomeshi invited to a taping and recounted her ordeal on As It Happens yesterday:
He asked her to his home in Riverdale. Once there, she alleges that without consent he grabbed her hair and pulled her down to the floor. Then, she alleges, he delivered three sharp punches to the side of her head while she lay on the floor.
"I was crying. Just crying. He stood there looking at me and said, 'You should leave.' "
A woman who knew Ghomeshi from the Toronto art scene:
They went for a walk when the event was over and, according to the woman, Ghomeshi attacked her while they were sitting on a bench. He began kissing her forcefully and then "put his hands around my neck and choked me."
"He smothered me," she said. She alleges Ghomeshi then grabbed her arms hard and "bit" her, then pushed her down on the park bench and "groped" her.
A fan whom Ghomeshi contacted via Facebook after a book signing,
She alleges that in the stairwell, Ghomeshi slammed her against a cement wall and she dropped her belongings. When she knelt to pick them up, he choked her from behind and struck her across the head. He demanded that she stand, and he marched her up the stairs into her friend's empty dorm room.
She says he demanded that she kneel, then hit her repeatedly about the head while she stared up in shock. She asked him about bruising, and he laughed and replied that he knew how to hit her so there wouldn't be any.
The next day, he emailed her:
"it IS about sex," wrote Ghomeshi in an email to the woman, asserting that she had consented, "it WAS. . . that you've decided to turn this ugly is disappointing. i wish for good karma into 2013."
Clearly, Jian Ghomeshi is an innocent victim here.
Another fan he met at a book signing, in a similar way to his previous victim.
When she arrived at his house and greeted him, she says Ghomeshi answered the door and stared at her. Without speaking, she alleges that he threw her against the wall and demanded that she get on her knees and perform fellatio. She alleges that when she kneeled down he struck her repeatedly about the head, "hard enough that (her) vision was blurred."
She says he took his belt off, tied it tight around her neck, "yanked" it, and led her around by the belt. They had intercourse, she said, and during it she alleges he whipped her back with his belt and hit her about the head. She alleges he put his full body weight on her face during fellatio, to the point where she gagged, couldn't breathe, and felt she would vomit. A subsequent encounter, she alleges, left her with deep bruising on her body.
Ghomeshi later told the woman that her bruises were "hot."
The man who has filed a $55 million lawsuit over his firing from CBC allegedly invited another woman to his house, told her that he thought she might be "the one," and then commenced getting rough with her without her consent.
He then kissed her, she says, and while kissing he "pulled (her) hair so hard my neck flew backward, and when it did," she alleges, "he smacked me." She objected and asked why he did this. He laughed, she says, and explained to her that in order for him to build a future with her, he would need to see if they were sexually compatible, and she would have to "let (him) enjoy this the way (he) wants to."
And, just an added gross detail:
Two of the women who allege they were physically assaulted also say that before the alleged assaults in his home he introduced them to Big Ears Teddy, a stuffed bear, and he turned the bear around just before he slapped or choked them, saying that "Big Ears Teddy shouldn't see this."
Eight women, all different, from different walks of life. One a semi-popular television actress, two his former colleagues, all former fans of his work. There are emails, there have been multiple interviews. And all we have from Ghomeshi is a rambling, self-pitying screed about how persecuted he is. His "it's a vast conspiracy!" defense is looking more pathetic by the minute.
Image via AP