Jian Ghomeshi allegedly choked, beat N.B. woman with belt
Ex-CBC host says all rough sexual acts were consensual, vows to meet allegations from recent days 'directly'
A woman from southeastern New Brunswick is sharing more details of the sexual violence she alleges she suffered at the hands of former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi.
The woman, who spoke to the Toronto Star earlier this week, told CBC's Information Morning Moncton that Ghomeshi choked and beat her with his belt, smothered her until she almost blacked out, and left her with severe bruises on her body after a weekend at his house in Toronto in 2012.
She says Ghomeshi texted her soon after the encounter, when she had returned home, to say, "He was smitten with me, he adored me, he missed me, he was thinking of me."
Her allegations come after a string of similar accusations from women who did not want to be named that have appeared in recent days on the CBC and in the Toronto Star.
None of the women CBC has interviewed has filed a complaint of any kind with police.
'I didn't see it coming'
In a statement on Sunday, Ghomeshi said that any acts of violence or rough sexual play he engaged in were consensual.
But the latest alleged victim, who is in her mid-20s, disputes that claim.
She says Ghomeshi did tell her he had "these violent type of tendencies," but assured her it was "pure text fantasy" and that "none of it would happen in real life."
"And so when he was violent with me without any talk of it ahead of time at his house, I didn’t see it coming. It blindsided me."
She was too shocked, scared and star-struck to tell him to stop, she said.
I just allowed it to happen. I didn't know what else I was supposed to do.- Woman alleging violence at hands of Jian Ghomeshi
"I just allowed it to happen. I didn't know what else I was supposed to do," she said, describing it as "the biggest mistake of my life."
Afterward, when bruises developed, she says she sent Ghomeshi pictures of them to let him know he had physically hurt her.
She says she also cautioned him, saying that if he hurt any other women like that, someone was bound to report it to the police or the media.
"He said, 'Do you live in the ghetto? What’s wrong with you? As if anything like that would happen.'"
She says she told a friend about the alleged unwanted violence, who warned her it was a "red flag." A couple of other people advised her to go to the police, but she didn't.
"I’m one girl — as far as I’m concerned at the time — who this has happened to," she said. "I thought it was an incident that was only geared toward me. I didn’t think he did this to anybody else.
"I thought it was because I was small, he thought I had a weak mind. At the time, I thought I had a weak mind for submitting to it. And I felt the amount of notoriety and respect he has in Canada versus me, who’s essentially nobody compared to him, people will not believe my side."
Met at book signing
The woman says she met Ghomeshi at a book signing in her city. As he autographed her copy of his memoir, he asked her personal questions, such as her name and what she did for a living, and jotted the information down on a Post-it note.
"I was being fairly flirty in return," she recalled.
She mentioned to Ghomeshi that she was on Facebook and that night, he messaged her with his phone number, asking her to text him, she said.
The woman, who described Ghomeshi as being charming, recalls being "excited."
"I thought, 'Why me, of all the people at the book signing?"
She agreed to go to dinner with him and back to his hotel room, but says nothing sexual happened.
"He came off a little aggressive but nothing overly aggressive. And I remember him saying, 'I tend to get a little aggressive, don’t let it scare you.' And I took his word for it and we parted ways."
Hit so hard vision blurred
They kept in touch over the next couple of weeks through telephone conversations and text messages, and then he invited her to visit him at his home, she said.
"I knocked on his door, he opened the door, and I was smiling, happy to see him, saying, 'Hello.' [I] expected to maybe have a tour of his house, have a 'hello' from him, have something to eat, 'How was your flight?' normal conversations," she said.
Instead, "he pushed me against the wall immediately, started making out with me, and then he led me upstairs, told me to get on my knees, and then proceeded to hit me very hard across the head a few times to the point where I couldn’t see straight, my vision was blurred."
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She says that's when Ghomeshi took off his belt, put it around her neck and started leading her around the bedroom and down the hall, "pulling really hard."
Then he removed the belt and started beating her on the back with it, she said.
She says she didn't say anything to Ghomeshi.
"I was in so much shock — and I’ve heard this from other women who are speaking as well — I did not know what to say. It totally threw me for a loop. I was speechless," she recalled.
The alleged incident, which she says lasted about 30 minutes, only ended after they ended up having intercourse, she said.
Afterwards, she says Ghomeshi was "nice and friendly and normal again," so she stayed the night.
"It’s as though something switches when the violence starts and he changes, and then after that, he’s a normal guy," she said.
A 'bad decision' in retrospect
Looking back, she says staying with him was a "bad decision." She says she let the fact that she looked up to him as a public figure cloud her judgment.
The rest of her visit was normal, but "anytime anything got sexual, he started getting violent again," she said.
"He would do stuff like hold his hand over my nose and mouth in front of a mirror to the point where I was blacking out."
The woman says she has been overwhelmed by the number of other women who have come forward with allegations in recent days and "disturbed" by how similar their stories are.
But she is also happy to know there are others out there who understand the "mental anguish" she has gone through — and continues to go through.
A lot of us are really afraid right now, afraid of backlash, afraid of what he might do or say to discreditus.- Woman who made allegations against Ghomeshi
"A lot of us are really afraid right now," she said. "Afraid of backlash, afraid of what he might do or say to discredit us, afraid of what the public might think, afraid of having our privacy invaded, afraid of having our jobs affected."
Still, despite her fears and anxieties about it becoming public, she says it has also helped to give her closure and will enable her to move on with her life.
Ghomeshi issued another brief statement on Facebook on Thursday.
"I want to thank you for your support and assure you that I intend to meet these allegations directly," he wrote.
"I don’t intend to discuss this matter any further with the media."