What could provoke CBC to so publicly dump Jian Ghomeshi thereby touching off his $50-million lawsuit?
The 47-year-old Corpse wunderkind had long been groomed as the next big thing, the pet hipster destined for his own TV show.
“At the youth-starved CBC, he has become the go-to cool guy. His bosses put him in front of a mike or camera whenever possible,” read a Toronto Life slobberknobber last November.
His daily radio show, Q, is the most successful Corpse vehicle outside the country—nearly 200 PBS stations carry it—so negative PR and fan backlash will be significant and widespread
And Ghomeshi was already off the air, having announced last week that he was taking an indefinite leave of absence to deal with “personal issues.”
While this was presumed to mean the recent death of his father, Jian has for years had a reputation as an ardent heterosexualist, and it seems that several women have come forward to complain about him.
Readers will recall the notorious It Happened to Me piece on website XOJane, by Carla Ciccone.
The Toronto freelancer went on a date with someone named “Keith,” who she claimed was Ghomeshi, then wrote about it in a blind item in June 2013.
“I met him at a wine bar for a quick drink before the show. When I walked in, I was greeted by both the overwhelming stench of his cologne and the sinking feeling that Keith was not, as I had assumed, gay. He looked at me the way a creepy older man looks at a young, silly girl he’s going to buy a drink he’s planning to slip a roofie into. I didn’t know what to do. He was 15 years older than me, but what’s more, I found him totally unattractive and didn’t want to be on a date with him.
“As I talked to one of them, I’d look up every now and then to catch a glimpse of Keith staring at me intently with a strange smile on his face. He was giving me the heebie jeebies and, again, I wanted to leave.
“As soon as the lights went down, and the first notes started playing, I felt a sweaty hand travel across the back of my dress and grab my ass.
“That hand was Keith’s.
Shocked, I looked up at him like “WHAT?!” He looked back at me with sex eyes and smiled. Disgusted, I asked him to stop, and stepped away from him and his hand.
“When he started rubbing my back, I again told him to stop, and when he put his hand over my shoulders, I said I was hot and lifted it off.
“’Oh yeah, you’re hot,’” he replied.
“I’ll be back.” I couldn’t take it anymore. Keith had gone from harmless dork to repulsive sexual predator.
Whatever Corpse management has heard about Ghomeshi, they could have simply maintained radio silence pending the outcome of any investigation, but PR panic set in on the weekend, and before you could say Jimmy Saville, the Corpse cut the Moxy doofus loose, convicting him before he’s had a chance to tell his side of the story.
UPDATE: And what a story it is. Ghomeshi has gone public with a tale of “consensual” BDSM hanky-spankery, an obsessive ex and star chamber treatment at the Corpse:
“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.
“And so, with no formal allegations, no formal complaints, no complaints, not one, to the HR department at the CBC (they told us they’d done a thorough check and were satisfied), and no charges, I have lost my job based on a campaign of vengeance. Two weeks after the death of my beautiful father I have been fired from the CBC because of what I do in my private life.”
Whatever the merits, Ciccone’ s piece reads like the efforts of a terrible wannabe novelist. Moreover, whoever he was, what the hell should Ciccone expect blind dating men in bars? For Christ’s sake, it could have been Steven Harper–very frightening indeed!
Jian likes it kinky, and apparently, young too.
“Good. I wish nothing but bad things for this douchenozzle. He, personally, is the reason that Moxy Früvous became persona non grata at the Iron Horse. While I was chef there, I had to deal with these folks fairly often, and they were nothing but a pain in the ass. Manager was a pain. Band was a pain. Jian was a pain. Their fans were a pain, and cheap to boot. Every time they took to the stage, we all groaned, because they were one of our least favorite acts in the world–at least when Cat Power got the boot, it was because she was pissed off at the turnout, and when she walked off stage it was with some verve, and while she never got another booking from us, we could at least understand her frustration–up there with The Bobs with true annoyance factor–forty five minute sound checks, done with the same repeated lyric of “Get on the Party Train” at differencing tones and levels, and thoroughly unpleasant people to deal with professionally.
The straw that broke the camel’s back for us though, wasn’t the manager trying to weasel out of merch sale percentages that we handled, or trying to get a per diem despite having meals provided by the in house chef–which was me and Willy Nelson called our service “some of the best road food in the business”–but when Jian tried to get two of my 16 year old runners–essentially bussers–onto the tour bus. Yes, they were indeed girls, and pretty ones at that, and the doorman had to hold me back when we caught the manager trying to sneak the girls onto the bus without anyone seeing them get on–all the while promising them that they’d have “a really good time.” Jian had struck up more than a couple of conversations with these girls, and they were flattered all to heck by the attention. When confronted, the manager blurted out that Jian had asked him to get these high school girls onto the bus, and back to the hotel–because apparently that would make it OK.
We never booked them again. Not at any venue. Those two girls, we knew their parents. They were like family, and Jian pretty much preys on pretty, naive girls who want to be singers. He DID show up at the Horse a few times, with singer-songwriters that he was “helping” and it all had the same sleazy disgusting vibe, and it never kept him from hitting on every damn waitress or sound tech, and any time he did make it in with another act–never on the bill, and never on the stage, security was alerted that he would have zero contact with the runners. Our waitstaff was used to being hit on by musicians, and some were musicians themselves, and knew the sleazeball routine fairly well, thanks to working with the Iron Horse and seeing it up close and personal, but our underage kids, we protected like mama bears.
F*ck this sleaze, and f*ck his excuses, and f*ck him and all his projects to feed his ego and fill his bed with dumb girls who believe half the crap he spouts. There are few terrible things I would not wish upon him, and only him. Jian Gohmeshi is a world class asshat and creeper.”
Clearly you have issues with young Jian.
to be continued…
Nothing happened to the blogger but she reports about three others. None of them made complaints to anyone . They refuse to identify themselves.
With only hearsay and no witnesses, the $50m from the CBC looks golden.
CTV mentioned that because he was union, no deal. (Likely trying to talk down his value before the meeting)
I tend to think otherwise.
Like Moses, Jian is a networked fellow, who learned at his master’s knee.
Maybe now he can be free to fight the other two Persians I happen to have trouble with, Kevin Sabet and Anita Sarkeesian.