Today on As it Happens, Carol Off spoke with a fifth anonymous woman who claims she was assaulted by former host of Q, Jian Ghomeshi. The woman claims that she went on a couple of dates with Ghomeshi, who she describes as “a charming man.”
She says during their early interactions she “did not get any indication that there was anything to worry about,” but while she was in his car, he reached over and grabbed her hair and pulled her head back, “very hard.” She got out of the car and went home, totally confused. She wondered if she “missed something,” having not dated in a while.
This is a common experience for women who encounter abusers — we are so totally caught off guard, we question the experience, wondering if it’s normal.
On their second date, Ghomeshi took her to his house, where she says he grabbed her by the hair, threw her to the ground, and began “close-fist pounding [her] in the head, repeatedly, until [her] ears were ringing.” She started to cry and he stopped. “There was no conversation.. He didn’t ask me if I liked to be hit,” she said. Referencing Ghomeshi’s defence, the woman felt it necessary to explain that this beating was most-certainly not a “sex thing” (they were “not even at that point” and were fully-clothed, the woman adds) or some kind of kinky BDSM play. Just your run-of-the-mill male violence against women thing.
The woman left in cab and went to her friend’s place (who also vouched for her story) and cried all night. “I was a mess,” she said.
When Off asks the woman why she went out with Ghomeshi again after her first experience, she says “Because I hadn’t dated in a while and I did like him. All the time I’d spent with him up until that point was great — there was nothing about him that I didn’t like. I thought maybe he’s just a little too rough and I can sort it out.”
I certainly can relate to this experience, in that the “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” personality so common to abusive men really throws you off — we think, “How could this nice, charming, funny man behave in such a crazy way? Maybe I just need to communicate better…”
She explains to Off she didn’t press charges because “it’s too difficult to prove, it’s embarrassing… In the moment, I was so distraught that all I wanted to do was curl up in a corner — I wasn’t expecting to go out with this man who was seemingly charming and nice. I come from an educated family and I thought, ‘Wow, my dad would really like you.’ Then to get physically abused like that was shocking… I didn’t expect it.”
“I didn’t understand why this man who has such a great TV personality and radio personality has this dark, dark side to him,” she said.
She felt she had to suppress it ever since it happened, but says that when the other allegations came out, “it almost gave [her] permission to speak… I thought, ‘maybe someone will listen to me now.'” The woman felt that, if she had said anything back when it happened, no one would care.
You can listen to the full interview on the CBC‘s website. Tomorrow morning on The Current, Anna Maria Tremonti will speak with yet another woman who has come forward to speak with the CBC about “an act of aggression by Jian Ghomeshi.”
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