March 24, 2016

(FLASHBACK) Lauren Southern last month: "Jian Ghomeshi will be found not guilty. Here's why."

Lauren SouthernArchive

(NOTE: This column originally appeared on February 16, 2016.) In November 2014, Jian Ghomeshi was charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of “choking to overcome resistance."

Before these allegations, Ghomeshi was a celebrity and self-styled feminist who ran a popular radio program on the CBC. He was well-liked by members of the public and even had a friendly relationship with our Prime Minister. Behind the scenes, however, Ghomeshi seems to have had a dark side.

Exactly how much evidence is there against Ghomeshi, though? All we have are unproven allegations: the testimonies of a smattering of women, some of whom had dated Ghomeshi over a decade ago.

People inundated the media with stories about Ghomeshi. An author claimed Ghomeshi put his “hands around [her] throat” and “violently penetrated” her with his fingers. A former CBC employee claimed she felt pressured by Ghomeshi to “perform fellatio” on him in a hotel room. A fan of Ghomeshi’s claimed that he had beaten her during sex and left her with “deep bruising” on her body.

Interview after interview came out with people who damaged Ghomeshi’s character, including interviews with past coworkers and friends. A male former classmate of Ghomeshi’s even accused Ghomeshi of having “fondled” him. Everyone wanted in on the bloodbath.

The allegations against Ghomeshi are brutal. But that’s all they are: allegations. And there’s reason to suspect at least some of them are the product of collusion.

Three women brought charges against Ghomeshi. Two of them chose to remain anonymous, and the third was Canadian actress Lucy DeCoutere. DeCoutere claimed that during a date Ghomeshi choked her without her consent to the point where she “could not breathe.”

The other women’s stories were distinctly similar. All three stories detail the women being attacked in the middle of a date by Ghomeshi without their consent, same with many of the media accusations. How could so many seemingly unconnected women come up with such similar stories about him? Surely, this must mean Ghomeshi is guilty?

This is actually one of the reasons that makes me question the allegations against Ghomeshi. Because there is an explanation as to why so many “unconnected” women would raise such similar stories against him. They weren’t unconnected.

In an article for Toronto Life, Leah McLaren writes:

“DeCoutere, who was the highest-profile of Jian’s alleged victims to come forward, became a point person for others who wanted to tell their story but couldn’t bring themselves to do it publicly. The way she described it to me, she co-ordinated a covert network of women who have spent the last seven months sharing their assault stories with each other.”

This was premeditation. The women had discussed their stories and had plenty of time to make them align. Perhaps they were colluding to destroy Ghomeshi. Or perhaps it was as simple as a support network for abused women. Either way the idea that these women were unconnected no longer holds true, dispelling at least one of the arguments against Ghomeshi.

There’s something else, too, something else that has me convinced of Ghomeshi’s innocence, at least regarding these accounts.

All of the women who accused Ghomeshi continued to treat him positively after their alleged abuse. DeCoutere sent Ghomeshi a raunchy email which said “You kicked my ass last night and that makes me want to f--- your brains out” the day after she had allegedly been choked.

One of the anonymous complainants stated that she had a “sexual encounter” with Ghomeshi days after he had allegedly assaulted her. The other anonymous complainant had sent flirtatious messages to Ghomeshi after her alleged assault, and had even sent him a picture of her in a bikini.

All three complainants conveniently failed to remember these actions when they took the stand.

And how are these “victims” of Ghomeshi’s doing today?

Well, Lucy DeCoutere enjoyed a surge of media attention and gained 25,000 Twitter followers after she publicized her allegations against Ghomeshi. DeCoutere bragged to a friend that she was “to sexual assault what David Beckham was to Armani underwear”. If her experience is anything to judge by, they’re doing just fine.

Yesterday, the court heard closing arguments from the Crown and defense. In the Crown’s closing arguments they addressed the flirtatious messages sent by the complainants, stating “How someone should react after the fact should not be considered”. Ghomeshi’s lawyer Marie Henein closed the defense’s side of the case by stating “All three complainants withheld information from the police and from the Crown and from the court… We were not going to hear the truth.”

There’s no doubt that women have left his bedroom with bruises, as Ghomeshi admittedly enjoys BDSM and rough sex, a fetish that is more commonplace than people think. So the question here is whether the aspects of the accounts were consensual or happened at all.

The messages sent by the complainants are the only reliable evidence given as to whether Ghomeshi’s behaviour was consensual, and they strongly support the defense’s case. The only other evidence provided about the alleged assaults is testimony that has been proven to be riddled with lies.

As usual, the press and public refuse to accept the fact that the real victim isn’t always the person who pressed charges. People lie, and yes, women lie.

The case reminds me of the trial of Gregory Alan Elliott. Jian too was criminally charged by people who may have colluded to keep their stories straight. He too lost his job as a result of the trial. He too has suffered enormous damage to his reputation. Like Elliott, the legal process has cost Ghomeshi dearly.

I can’t say I like Ghomeshi much. I don’t have an affinity for cocky male feminists who espouse progressive rhetoric and live off tax dollars. I also find his proclivities both inside and outside of the bedroom disturbing.

I won’t say that I think everyone who has come forward is a liar either, I don’t know that. If the complainants are telling the truth, I hope they find the evidence necessary to convict him.

But everything we’ve seen in court suggests that Jian Ghomeshi is not guilty.

**This column has been edited to clarify facts of Ghomeshi’s alleged conduct and the sequence of events**


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commented 2016-02-13 00:46:46 -0500
The thee women probably were not as dramatized as they later claimed.However Jian liking violence with sex is stupid and morally wrong without the three women’consent.
commented 2016-02-13 00:38:30 -0500
Hum, it looks like the women on this page wouldn’t have even given him a trial ! Where Gome comes from , women are hung if they are proven to be lying . I don’t agree with that, but they should get a few years as they are ruining a person’s life. Remember the 7 innocent boys on the US Lacrosse Team. It was proven that she lied and the woman walked away with no punishment after almost ruining 7 lives.
By the way, he came from Iran.
commented 2016-02-12 23:46:17 -0500
Either way he is scum… major scum.
commented 2016-02-12 23:01:44 -0500
I said……but if he had permission to punch and choke these women then he is not guilty. Actually no, is it not the law that you cannot give consent for physical assault? So either they were never punched or choked, or he is guilty of assault, whether they liked it or not ?
commented 2016-02-12 22:53:45 -0500
VALENTYNA RUDKO , suing the cbc is suing the taxpayer. If any of these women were maliciously attempting to take him down, they should be the ones to pay. I must say I find it hard to believe Lucy DeCoutere, would think this would benefit her career? Or was that confident he would be found guilty. She and how many other women? hated him that much? I just find it hard to believe that many women would collude to frame him. I have always found Ghomeshi unctuous and slimy, and resented paying his pay cheque, but if he had permission to punch and choke these women then he is not guilty. However, I personally doubt it.
commented 2016-02-12 22:51:48 -0500
Sharon…good point :" WHO saves emails that are13 years old unless that person suspected that this may come back to bite him in the ass at a later date and wanted evidence that they still went out with him after the fact (what were these broads thinking?)"

This is a very interesting point! Was he an obsessive egotist…or was he saving evidence because he knew he might have to answer for his actions…and using them to protect himself…like a true sociopath…this suggests he really is guilty of the charges…but it doesn’t prove it…I was wondering how they got these emails in the first place…it never occurred to me that anyone would bother to save them that long Then again, maybe he just didn’t have time to do computer housecleaning…the emails would likely have been on an old garbage computer he no longer used…most people throw them out after that long…but then maybe he was a historian☺

Nevertheless…these women lied to the police and discredited their own testimony completely…hopefully they lied about his assaults as well…or they have set up some other women royally. The CBC shouldn’t have fired him…now he can seek damages from them (thanks taxpayers!)…why is it that everything always comes down on the taxpayers….even this!

But I think you are wrong here: “he will still suffer the wrath of the feminazis, so justice will be served.” Sorry, but this just isn’t going to happen…they never go after the lefties:look at JFK and Clinton…! Now Bill Cosby is a right winger…that is the kind they target! They aren’t real feminists…they are radicals: lefties, first and foremost…humanists…they don’t care about women at all unless they are lefties as well…their agenda is socialism/communism, only…that is why they have deserted Hillary for BS…he is the true radical socialist.
commented 2016-02-12 22:07:23 -0500
Ghomer will be found not guilty because he could afford the price to pay for professional witness/victim assassination – I hope karma catches up to both of them.
commented 2016-02-12 21:36:37 -0500
The only woman here who has some sort of case against him is the one who sent him a bikini pic a year after the assault in order to “bait” him so he would contact her so she could confront him as to why he did it. As far as I know, she had no other contact with him after the assault. The other point is, WHO saves emails that are13 years old unless that person suspected that this may come back to bite him in the ass at a later date and wanted evidence that they still went out with him after the fact (what were these broads thinking?). I am aware there are sick freaks who get off on beating up women during sex and don’t necessarily ask for consent. If someone did that to me on a date I would clock him right back, get the hell out of there, and go directly to the nearest cop shop and press assault charges. Case closed. It doesn’t matter if assault happens on the street or on a date, its still assault. Ghomeshi strikes me as as textbook narcissist. He most likely will walk. If he does, he will still suffer the wrath of the feminazis, so justice will be served.
commented 2016-02-12 21:33:05 -0500
He is a Pakistani.. WE don’t want to paint them with a broad brush.
Some of them ,don’t beat their women or kill their wives and daughters.
commented 2016-02-12 21:00:57 -0500
He will be found not guilty simply because it is “he said, she said” and it was a fairly long time ago.

No evidence other than words – which can always be played.
commented 2016-02-12 20:54:45 -0500
Ghomeshi and his ladies deserve each other and don’t deserve any attention or sympathy. Losers and idiots. Waste of time and money. I hope Ghomeshi will sue CBC. That will be fun to watch.
commented 2016-02-12 20:39:09 -0500
I think that he was able to hire a very astute lawyer and that she was obviously instrumental in making the accusers look like liars.
I very strongly believe that she was also instrumental in delaying the trial for so long that it has had the intended result. If the trial was held as soon after he was charged I believe we would have seen the pig convicted.
We do not have a justice system in Canada, we have a legal system and the best lawyer with the most money usually wins.
Women will now be even more reluctant to come forward and be exposed to ridicule like these few were.
A shameful end to a shameful case. I just hope he gets what he has coming to him in the end.
commented 2016-02-12 20:28:40 -0500
Jian is an idiot and the women that associate with him are losers