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This article was published 11/11/2014 (2632 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
After finishing her shift on the evening of Sunday, Oct. 26, she unlocked her phone and was deluged with messages.
"Hey, were you raped?" one text message from an acquaintance read.
"What? Who writes that?" she thought, dumbfounded.
And then, the Winnipeg woman began to piece together what had exploded on social media while she was serving tables all night -- and what it meant to her and her private life.
While she had been working that Sunday afternoon, Jian Ghomeshi -- the former host of CBC Radio's popular program, Q, and the woman's former fling -- posted a lengthy Facebook rant, defending himself against as-yet-unknown allegations and explaining why he believed he was dismissed from the public broadcaster.
"I've been fired from the CBC because of the risk of my private sex life being made public as a result of a campaign of false allegations pursued by a jilted ex-girlfriend and a freelance writer," Ghomeshi wrote in the first salvo of the scandal.
In short order, Ghomeshi went from being a hip celebrity to a fallen star who is now facing the possibility of criminal charges for what he had portrayed as consensual sexual activities. For the Winnipeg woman with intimate knowledge of the 50 shades of Ghomeshi from the year-and-a-half of on-and-off-again sex she had with him, the shame now surrounding him is a complicated one for her to both fathom and discuss.
'Everything that happened between us was something that we both wanted'
The Winnipeg woman -- we'll call her Jane -- asked to remain anonymous, as have several of the other women who have come forward about Ghomeshi.
"The truth is there's totally reasons why these women are staying private, because people will say horrible things. That's how the Internet world works, is people say horrible things," said Jane, now in her late 20s.
She said she wants to protect her identity and go on living as normal a life as possible.
But contrary to reports from other woman, Jane said she didn't mind getting choked and slapped by Ghomeshi. Any aggression in their encounters was mutually agreed upon, explained Jane, a fan of BDSM since she was 19.
"Everything that happened between us was something that we both wanted," she said.
The last time they had sex was in March when Ghomeshi was in town for the Juno Awards, she said.
She has saved pictures with Ghomeshi, as well as emails and text messages sent back and forth. Her friends corroborate details and verify the pair dated.
Still, many friends, family members and acquaintances who knew she slept with Ghomeshi have already "blown up (her) phone," with worried messages.
Jane said she has reassured everyone she is fine, including her parents.
She called them immediately, once she realized allegations about Ghomeshi were surfacing.
"I feel like they know, based on me calling them on the same day that came out, that I'm super happy," she said.
Jane said she met Ghomeshi in Winnipeg in October 2012. Ghomeshi was on a book tour promoting his autobiography, 1982, and made a stop at McNally Robinson for a signing.
Jane recalls how she was already a fan of Ghomeshi and was attracted to him. She said they made "sex eyes" at one another while she waited in line to have her book signed. They chatted and he asked for her number. "I didn't answer because I was so nervous. My friend elbowed me and was like, '204...' " she remembered, laughing.
Ghomeshi left early the next day, so they didn't get a chance to meet again. But they began texting incessantly -- 10 to 15 times per day. They talked on the phone a few times per week and on Skype as well.
Jane described the first two to three months of their interactions as "intense." Afterwards, their communications faded in and out. When Ghomeshi was in Winnipeg, they would meet up for sex and dinner dates.
Jane admits her family was never particularly fond of seeing her with someone 20 years her senior.
"People did kind of scrunch their faces up about the age, but I do like old guys. I think I've dated three guys in their 40s, so it's not new to me."
Only once did Jane feel uncomfortable during role-play with Ghomeshi. She remembered making a face, but not saying anything. Ghomeshi stopped having sex with her to ask what was wrong.
"He was like, 'If you aren't comfortable -- I saw it this time, but I won't know. You need to tell me,' " she said.
Jane realizes her experiences with Ghomeshi might not have been the same for the other women. Though she can't relate to their allegations of assault, she also can't rule out these incidents may have happened.
While Jane rarely said "no" to Ghomeshi during their relationship, she isn't sure she'd agree to testify in his defence if the scandal lands in court.
She would definitely sign an affidavit, she said, but is wary of the court process.
"It's the cross-examination that scares me. I don't want some scary person being scary to me," she said. "I'd have to talk to someone about it thoroughly to tell (me) how to prepare or not for someone to call me a horrible slut in front of a billion people."
A longer version of this story was initially published by Community News Commons.