CBC’s sudden decision to cut ties with star host Jian Ghomeshi came after “information” came to the public broadcasters attention that “precludes us from continuing our relationship,” a senior spokesman told the Toronto Star.
What that information is, CBC media relations chief Chuck Thompson said he was not at liberty to say.
“Information came to (CBC’s) attention recently that in CBC’s judgment precludes us from continuing our relationship with Jian Ghomeshi,” Thompson said in an interview.
Ghomeshi stated on his Facebook page Sunday that he was fired because of the risk “of my private sex life being made public as a result of a campaign of false allegations pursued by a jilted ex girlfriend and a freelance writer.”
His Facebook post goes on to state that the allegations are a smear campaign, and that all of his sexual activity, however unconventional, has been entirely consensual. With “no formal allegations, no formal complaints, no complaints, not one, to the HR department at the CBC (and) (and no charges, I have lost my job based on a campaign of vengeance,” Ghomeshi states, having also added that his ex-girlfriend has contacted him to say that she “now wishes to refute any of these categorically untrue allegations.”
Ghomeshi took a leave of absence Friday from his popular show Q, one of the most successful programs in the public broadcaster’s history. The Giller Prize book awards official Twitter account stated Sunday that Ghomeshi will no longer be hosting that prize’s Nov. 10 gala, either.
CBC staff who oversee the Q show have spent much of the weekend at CBC headquarters, a source said.
When the Star asked Thompson what the nature of the information the CBC had received about Ghomeshi — or when it came in — Thompson would only say “recently” and then said that the terms of the employer-employee relationship with Ghomeshi stopped the public broadcaster from discussing the matter.
“When an employer parts ways with an employee then for privacy reasons the terms of separation are not disclosed,” Thompson said.
Ghomeshi, meanwhile, instructed his lawyers, Dentons Canada LLP, to file suit against the CBC on his behalf when the courts open Monday morning, according to a statement from the law firm sent out Sunday afternoon.
Ghomeshi is claiming general and punitive damages for among other things, breach of confidence and bad faith in the amount of $ 50 million, the statement said. He will also launch a grievance for reinstatement under his collective agreement.