May 11, 2016

By Jane Brown

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Former CBC radio star Jian Ghomeshi apologized in court today for his “thoughtless and insensitive” behaviour to a former colleague who had accused him of sexually assaulting her.


“I want to apologize to Ms. Borel for my behavior towards her in the workplace. In the last 18 months, I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on this incident and the difficulties I caused Ms. Borel, and I have come to terms with my own deep regret and embarrassment.

I enjoyed a position of privilege in my job at the CBC as the host of a program I loved. I was a person in a position of authority and leadership and I did not show the respect that I should have to Ms. Borel. I did not always lead by example and I failed to understand and truly appreciate the impact of my conduct on Ms. Borel’s work environment. That conduct in the workplace was sexually inappropriate. I realize that there is no way for me to know the full impact on her personally and professionally.
I now recognize that I crossed boundaries inappropriately. A workplace should not have any sexualized tone. I failed to understand how my words and actions would put a coworker who was younger than me, and in a junior position to mine, in an uncomfortable place. I did not appreciate the damage that I caused, and I recognize that no workplace friendship or creative environment excuses this sort of behavior, especially when there is a power imbalance as there was with Ms. Borel. This incident was thoughtless and I was insensitive to her perspective and how demeaning my conduct was towards her. I understand this now. The past 18 months have been an education to me. I have reflected deeply and have been working hard to address the attitudes that led me, at the time, to think this was acceptable.
I apologize to my family for letting them down and in particular for the impact that all of this had on my dear mother and sister. I apologize for the burden of my actions have placed on those dear friends who have stood by me throughout this difficult time. I regret my behavior at work with all heart and I hope that I can find forgiveness from those for whom my actions took such a toll.”

The apology read in a Toronto Old City Hall courtroom came after the prosecution read the allegations against him.

After signing a a peace bond, the Crown withdrew the charge of sexual assault for which Ghomeshi was slated to stand trial in June.

According to the allegations, Ghomeshi grabbed Kathryn Borel, a former CBC employee, from behind at work in 2008 and ground his pelvis into her.

Ghomeshi, 48, was charged one year ago in relation to the incident.

Borel consented to waiving a court-ordered ban on publicly identifying her.  Borel made a statement to the media after the proceedings on the steps of Old City Hall Court.  You can listen to her comments here in their entirety:

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