Suicide at The Star, Part Deux

For a newspaper that took great joy in reporting the scandalous behaviour of Rob Ford and Jian Ghomeshi, the Toronto Star is mighty quick to circle the wagons ‘round its own newsroom calumnies.

As reported this week in the satirical press, the mysterious death of Raveena Aulakh, the paper’s environment reporter, sent shock waves through the newsroom.

By all accounts, the fortysomething Aulakh, heartbroken over an office affair gone bad, had committed suicide. Star management fuelled speculation about the circumstances by not publishing her obituary.

The way we hear it, Raveena was smitten by a much-married senior editor, then discovered he was also getting a leg over with their boss—one of the paper’s highest-ranking editors.

Unable to manage the betrayal—by both her lover and her boss–a heartbroken Raveena took her own life.

Her last tweet, May 13, read:

“‘Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe fuck yourself.’ Mark Wahlberg in The Departed. Could easily apply to others, & much more.”

Apropos of nothing, the Star today announced that Jon Filson, assistant managing editor in charge of tablet development, has exited the building. According to Financial Post, Star spokesthingy Bob Hepburn confirmed that Filson “has left the Toronto Star.”

Filson had been with the paper since 2000 in various capacities, including sports editor and features editor. Presumably his departure was due solely to tablet interruptus.

Meanwhile, the senior editor allegedly involved in the love triangle remains at her post—for now.

Doubtless, Star management will soon come clean on the circumstances—and the behaviour of certain managers—that preceded Raveena’s death. (Sources say publisher John Honderich cut short his BC vacation and returned to TO to deal with the hot mess.)

Consider these words of wisdom from no less an authority than Star ombudsthingy Kathy English in 2011: “Suicide is a difficult subject, but how does hiding from it serve anyone? On balance, there is often greater good in seeking and reporting the truth about the s-word.’”



  1. Every highly-speculative, unsubstantiated piece of Port Hope fear mongering carried Raveena Aulakh’s by-line. If she ever actually visited Port Hope, I sure don’t know about it. It is widely believed that a former Rye High journo prof and Toronto Star headline writer phoned it all in from Port Hope, he being a founding member of Port Hope’s own tinfoil hat brigade, Families Against Radiation Exposure. His time at FARE was cut short after it was discovered in his breathless ‘press release’ he had highly torqued the results of a urine study that found 12 Port Hope residents had elevated levels of uranium in their pee. The 12? All members of FARE. So, in that sense, what’s left of FARE, if indeed there’s anything left of FARE, has lost its Star pipeline.

    • Wasn’t aware of any of that, but that doesn’t mean that Port Hope is clean and Cameco didn’t improperly dispose toxic waste.

  2. You know it’s bad when I’m hearing about it from my contacts in Archives. I should ask them about Dimanno and Baltovitch… oh wait, I have and they never said anything. 🙂

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