Lawyer Marie Henein claims Ghomeshi will plead ‘not guilty’
By Angela Espinoza, News Editor
Jian Ghomeshi surrendered to Toronto police and appeared in court on November 26. The former Q host is facing four charges of sexual assault and one charge of overcome resistance – choking.
Ghomeshi’s arrival in court was his first public appearance since news broke in October of his alleged physical and sexual assaults of at least nine women and one man, only three of whom have been named.
After appearing in court, Ghomeshi was placed in a holding cell for several hours before being released on bail of $100,000. While Ghomeshi is awaiting trial, he is not allowed to leave Ontario, was required to hand over his passport to Toronto police, cannot contact the alleged victims, and will have to live with his mother.
Marie Henein, the high-profile criminal defence lawyer representing Ghomeshi, stated to the flurry of media at Ghomeshi’s court appearance that he will be pleading not guilty, and that neither Ghomeshi nor herself would be speaking of the case publicly going forward. “We will address these allegations fully and directly in a courtroom. It is not my practice to litigate my cases in the media,” said Henein.
Ghomeshi’s second court appearance is to be on January 8, 2015. Toronto police have stressed that other alleged victims of Ghomeshi can still be part of the trial if they chose to come forward.
Prior to his court appearance, on November 25, Ghomeshi reportedly decided to drop his $55-million lawsuit citing defamation and mistrust against CBC. In addition to his own legal costs, he will be covering CBC’s $18,000 spent in regard to the lawsuit.
CBC also covered the Ghomeshi case with a documentary entitled “The Unmaking of Jian Ghomeshi,” during the November 28 episode of The Fifth Estate.
The episode presented new information on what CBC was aware of in regard to the allegations against Ghomeshi, as well as Ghomeshi’s history with CBC.
As previously recounted through various media sources and discussed in The Fifth Estate, Ghomeshi’s public popularity resulted in members of CBC and producers of Q not intervening in the reportedly tyrannical way in which Ghomeshi ran his staff at Q. In addition, allegations of Ghomeshi’s violence in relation to sex and women were reportedly known to various staff at CBC.
Three women who were fellow Q staff have publicly accused Ghomeshi of sexual harassment and assault—two have since left the show. One of the women reported her case to a Q executive producer, who she claims said in response, “He’s never going to change … let’s talk about how you can make this a less toxic work environment for you.”
As a result of workplace allegations against Ghomeshi, CBC launched an independent review of Q under employment lawyer Janice Rubin in November.