For those who don’t know, Jian Ghomeshi is - or was - a celebrity television and radio personality in Canada. Recently, he went to trial on four counts of sexual assault based on accusations of three different women.
He was acquitted.
The verdict was “met with dismay by many.” This Is What Rape Culture Looks Like. “From the beginning, I believe women,” said Sandy Miranda. “I’m no legal expert, but… as we saw, the justice system is broken.”
“I’d fail the Ghomeshi courtroom test too,” wrote Lauren Pelley, for the Toronto Star.
The verdict would have a “chilling effect,” wrote Anne Kingston.
Catherine Porter writes, Ghomeshi trial proves one thing: we need a different system
In his opinion, the judge said the women had lied.
In trial, the first woman testified she was so traumatized by Ghomeshi’s assault, she couldn’t listen to his radio show, or see him on TV. But in emails, produced at trial, she said his show was “great,” and asked him to review a video she had made. She asked him to contact her. When he didn’t, she sent him a picture of herself in a string bikini.
The second woman said, both in sworn statements to police, and in media appearances, that she avoided Ghomeshi after the assaults. At trial, however, she admitted sending an email in which she said she wanted to “play” with him, and hoped to have “a chance encounter in a broom closet.” When his response was noncommittal, she said she’d “beat the crap” out of him if they didn’t spend time together. She sent him flowers, and said she wanted to “fuck [his] brains out”.
The third woman said that, after the assault, she was afraid of Ghomeshi, and “always kept her distance.” At trial she admitted that after the alleged assault, she took him to her home, where they slept together and they “messed around.” Six months later she emailed him and asked if he “still wanted to have a drink sometime?"
So who to believe?
Is the media right? Is this a failure of the Canadian judicial system?
Or is the judge right?