A FORMER radio show host who is facing sexual assault charges has been granted bail on the condition he lives with his mother while the case is heard in court.
Former Canadian Broadcasting Corporation host Ghomeshi, 47, was charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking, Toronto police said yesterday.
Officials at CBC sacked Ghomeshi in October after media reports of a number of sexual assault allegations against the star first emerged.
Ghomeshi, the host of “Q,” a popular radio show on culture that was heard on many public stations in the United States, has denied the allegations, saying he had consensual “rough sex” with women making the allegations against him.
Ghomeshi, who came into the public eye as a member of the 1990s satirical pop band Moxy Fruvous, was in court in Toronto on Wednesday in his first public appearance since the allegations surfaced.
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A justice of the peace granted him bail at 100,000 Canadian dollars (£63,000) on condition he turn over his passport and live with his mother. The star is due back in court in January.
Ghomeshi’s lawyer Marie Henein said Ghomesi will be pleading not guilty and the allegations will be addressed in court. Ghomeshi refused to comment.
CBC said Ghomeshi was sacked after the emergence of “graphic” evidence that he had caused physical injury to someone.
Ghomeshi defended his actions in a 1,500-word statement which appeared on Facebook, saying women consented to having “rough sex” with him and that he’s the victim of a disgruntled ex-girlfriend.
After the Toronto Star newspaper reported several more allegations days later, Ghomeshi posted that he would confront the accusations “directly,” but wouldn’t discuss them with the media.
Police issued a plea in late October for more victims to come forward and launched an investigation after nine women reported incidents of assault and sexual assault.
One of the women who contacted police was actress Lucy DeCoutere, a star of the long-running TV and film series Trailer Park Boys.
DeCoutere was the first woman to speak on the record about her allegations against Ghomeshi. DeCoutere said she went on a date with him and alleges that when they went back to his home, he pressed her up against a wall, choked her and slapped her across the face several times.
DeCoutere said the Ghomeshi scandal has led to “a major shift” in Canada’s conversation about violence against women.
She added: “It has been an overwhelming and painful time for many people, including myself, but also very inspiring. I hope that victims’ voices continue to be heard and that this is the start of a change that is so desperately needed.”
Author and lawyer Reva Seth became the second woman to go public, writing in the Huffington Post that Ghomeshi put his hands around her throat and sexually assaulted her, although it was not known if she was one of the women who filed a complaint to police.
After he was sacked, Ghomeshi launched a lawsuit against the CBC for breach of confidence and defamation. He dropped it on Tuesday. A union grievance alleging dismissal without proper cause remains.
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