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This article was published 5/11/2014 (2360 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A WINNIPEG man is the latest person to come forward saying he was a victim of a sexual attack by former CBC star Jian Ghomeshi.
Jim Hounslow, the e-learning specialist at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, told the Toronto Star the incident happened in the early 1990s, when they were both students at York University in Toronto and Ghomeshi was president of the student federation. He said Ghomeshi, without warning, grabbed his genitals through his jeans and fondled them after an evening student meeting at a pub.
Hounslow told the Star he grabbed Ghomeshi’s arm, pulled it behind his back and then pushed him hard against the doors of an elevator, telling him to never do that again. Hounslow told the Star Ghomeshi accused him the next day of being "macho, violent and homophobic," and said he was "playing around" the night before.
Meanwhile, a Toronto employment lawyer with expertise in workplace harassment will lead an independent investigation into the scandal that has erupted around Jian Ghomeshi, former host of the radio show Q, the CBC said Tuesday. In an email to staff, executive vice-president Heather Conway said Janice Rubin would begin her work immediately. Conway urged anyone who worked on Q or Play, an earlier Ghomeshi show, to contact Rubin with any complaints, concerns or experiences involving harassment, discrimination, violence or other inappropriate workplace conduct.
"If you have any information you wish to share, I strongly encourage you to come forward in order to ensure the investigation is as thorough as it must be," Conway said. "Please be assured, these conversations will be handled sensitively, and any individual who comes forward will be treated with care and respect."
While maintaining confidentiality, Rubin will report to senior CBC management about what she heard and what her investigations uncovered, along with recommendations on resolving any complaints. The investigator will also report separately on what the broadcaster should do to prevent similar issues arising in the future.
Rubin is described on the law firm’s website as an award-winning workplace investigator who has made guest appearances on CBC as an expert. She refused to comment on whether this posed a conflict of interest.
"As a leading authority on workplace harassment, Janice has often offered her views on this subject to a number of media outlets, and we see no conflict of interest," said CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson.
The CBC fired Ghomeshi, 47, on Oct. 26 after seeing what it called "graphic evidence" he had caused physical injury to a woman.
He is also under criminal investigation after at least three women complained to Toronto police he had physically or sexually assaulted them.
Earlier Tuesday, a spokesman for the broadcaster confirmed the most senior producer at Q, Arif Noorani, was taking time off. "He decided to take some time while we get more clarity around this situation," said Thompson.
Noorani is reported to have been told by a union representative of allegations made by a former producer that Ghomeshi had grabbed her and made a lewd suggestion.
In an email made public by the CBC on Tuesday, Noorani said, "At no point was an allegation of sexual harassment brought to my attention."
One source has also told The Canadian Press the young woman, who has chosen not to be identified publicly, made no allegations of serious harassment to the union volunteer or Noorani, despite her insistence she did.
"They both said she didn’t tell them that — the sex details," the source said. "She just said he yelled at her — they were going over a script — and stormed out."
In all, nine women — most anonymously — have spoken to media outlets about how Ghomeshi, without warning, attacked them. Of the three who have complained to police, only actor Lucy DeCoutere, best known for her role on Trailer Park Boys, has agreed to be identified.
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair rejected any notion women who believe they have been assaulted by Ghomeshi should somehow be compelled to make formal complaints or talk to investigators.
"I’ve been somewhat surprised by the number of men who have written to us or come forward to suggest that we should force people to come forward and to participate in the criminal justice system," Blair said. "That attitude is shocking to me in the 21st century."
Ghomeshi, who faces no charges, admitted in a lengthy Facebook post on Oct. 26 to having a proclivity for rough sex but insisted his encounters with women were consensual.
— staff / The Canadian Press