Former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi was back in a Toronto courtroom this morning.
After signing a peace bond, the Crown withdrew the charge of sexual assault for which Mr. Ghomeshi was slated to stand trial in June.
Ghomeshi also apologized for his “thoughtless and insensitive” behaviour to a former colleague who had accused him of sexually assaulting her. Ghomeshi never specified what he was apologizing for but did say he had “come to terms with my own deep regret and embarrassment.”
He went on to say that he now recognizes that he “crossed boundaries inappropriately” and he didn’t appreciate the damage that I caused.
The crown attorney in the case gave an explanation as to why they agreed on a peace bond rather than attempt a court case.
“By apologizing for his actions, Mr. Ghomeshi publicly accepts responsibility for them. Public acknowledgement of the harm done to Ms. Borel is a valuable consequence of this resolution not only from the perspective of the complainant but, also, from the perspective of the public.”
Kathryn Borel’s identity had been protected by a publication ban until this morning.
Borel spoke outside the courtroom after the court appearance and says “Mr.Ghomeshi made it clear to me he could do what he wanted to me and my body. He made it clear that he could humiliate me repeatedly and walk away with impunity.”
She described the charge Ghomeshi apologized for when “He came up behind me while I was standing near my desk, put his hands on my hips and rammed his pelvis against my backside over and over simulating sexual intercourse”
While speaking to the media Borel added that the CBC did nothing to stop this abuse. Chuck Thompson Head of Public Affairs at the CBC has issued a statement.
“What Ms. Borel experienced in our workplace should never have happened and we sincerely apologize for what occurred.
As we said in April of 2015, the incidents that came to our attention as it relates to Mr. Ghomeshi’s conduct in our workplace were simply unacceptable. We apologized then and we do again today.
To be clear, like the trial in February and the subsequent ruling, this particular court case is also unrelated to our decision to end Jian Ghomeshi’s employment with CBC. As we said in March, based on the evidence that came to our attention, Mr. Ghomeshi’s actions were not in line with the values of the public broadcaster nor with our employee code of conduct and we stand by this decision.
We accepted the findings of the Rubin report and have since made significant progress on all the elements of our year-one action plan. We’ve launched new mandatory training programs for HR staff, for managers and for all employees. We’ve introduced a new bullying and harassment helpline. We’ve revised our process for capturing the details of bullying and harassment complaints. We are responding to complaints with renewed discipline and rigour, and learning from the data to improve prevention and early resolution.
The past year’s progress has set a strong foundation for what’s next and the work that remains. That is, to have a broader conversation around culture with a clear focus on a healthy climate to support the wellbeing of all our staff.”
For the dozens of protesters who attended the event the news only made them question further the judiciary, with one crying young woman yelling, “I want Jian to know he bound and paid for his freedom and he’ll have to live with this for the rest of his life!”
Despite the fervor, the crowds outside old city hall today were much smaller. Inside, the courtroom was dominated by media personality. The public simply weren’t here today.
To read his complete apology look below.
With Files from Andy Borkowski