Jian Ghomeshi, host of CBC Radio’s Q, said Sunday that he was fired by the Canadian pubcaster over a threat about allegations regarding his sex life going public.
In a lengthy Facebook post, the ousted host said that an ex-girlfriend had been collaborating with a freelance writer on a story that would claim that Ghomeshi had been abusive in their relationship. The former host said the allegations were without merit and that he had filed a $50 million (Canadian) lawsuit against the CBC over his firing.
Ghomeshi acknowledged that the relationship had included “rough sex (forms of BDSM)” but that all activities had been consensual. CBC executives agreed that “information provided showed that there was consent,” he wrote: “They said they’re not concerned about the legal side.”
“But then they said that this type of sexual behavior was unbecoming of a prominent host on the CBC,” he continued. “They said that I was being dismissed for ‘the risk of the perception that may come from a story that could come out.'”
“To recap,” he added, “I am being fired in my prime from the show I love and built and threw myself into for years because of what I do in my private life.”
In a statement quoted in media coverage, the CBC said, “The CBC is saddened to announce its relationship with Jian Ghomeshi has come to an end. This decision was not made without serious deliberation and careful consideration. Jian has made an immense contribution to the CBC and we wish him well.” A spokesperson declined further comment to media.
UPDATE (Monday Oct. 27, 10:39 a.m.): In a statement Sunday, Public Radio International, which distributes Q to public radio stations in the U.S., said that “CBC will continue to produce, and PRI will continue to distribute, the program with substitute hosts until a new host is brought on board.” The distributor declined to comment on the CBC’s decision to dismiss Ghomeshi.