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The trauma and unhappiness within the unit was known within CBC, says a longtime CBC employee not associated with the show. A producer who has alleged that Ghomeshi fondled her and told her he wanted to “hate-f–k” her reported she was told by the executive producer to try to work around it; Ghomeshi wasn’t going to change.This week, according to CBC News, two more women—one a former staffer, another a current CBC employee—alleged Ghomeshi was abusive and sexually aggressive. The other says she told a supervisor but nothing happened.As details of the allegations surfaced, a Jiandenfreude took grip: glee over the number of Facebook followers Ghomeshi was losing; Twitter shares of photographs of the scraping away of the 20-foot poster of the preternaturally youthful 47-year-old from CBC headquarters; and delight over news that yet another friend or associate had severed ties.Even his bandmates from Moxy Früvous—the group broke up almost 15 years ago— felt compelled to issue a group statement: “We are sickened and saddened by this week’s news.
Ghomeshi, with the help of Navigator, a high-profile damage-control firm, invoked valued Canadian touchstones: He referenced the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, echoing Pierre Trudeau’s “the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation.” What he called his BDSM sexual practices were likened to scenes in Lynn Coady’s Giller prize-winning book.Anger percolated over the seeming disconnect between the allegations and Ghomeshi’s public persona as an enlightened, sensitive progressive who called Jack Layton his “mentor,” who has interviewed political dissidents such as Ai Weiwei, and who tweets out support for white-ribbon campaigns.Ghomeshi had even been touted as a perfect Toronto mayoral candidate in 2012 by his friend Richard Florida, the social economist who coined the term “creative class.” “I would like to see a younger person and someone who is not the usual suspect; someone who looks and acts like Jian Ghomeshi,” Florida told .It may have been in the service of creating entertaining radio, but that was increasingly secondary to the service of building up the host’s public persona,” he wrote, adding: “It’s deeply troubling to hear in detail how he allegedly leveraged that same public persona in the service of his own troubled private self.” Now, the private Ghomeshi—the version given a free pass by his employer but well known within arts and media circles as “kind of dark with women,” as a friend of one of his accusers put it to her—was suddenly public.It was a case of everybody knew—except for the hundreds of thousands of listeners who started the day with his soothing voice, and who, understandably, trusted in the person presented to them by the CBC.