Lucy DeCoutere: ‘Time for someone to speak publicly’

“Trailer Park Boys” actor Lucy DeCoutere, the latest of eight women to accuse the radio host of abuse, said Ghomeshi choked and hit her

TORONTO – “Trailer Park Boys” actor Lucy DeCoutere has accused former CBC-Radio host Jian Ghomeshi of choking her “to the point she could not breathe” and slapping her “hard three times on the side of her head,” the Toronto Star reported late Wednesday.

The “Q” radio host has been accused of abusive behaviour by a series of anonymous women over the past few days but DeCoutere is the first to agree to be identified.

The Star reported that eight women from across Canada now accuse Ghomeshi – who parted ways with the CBC on Sunday – of “abusive behaviour ranging from allegations of beating and choking without consent, to workplace sexual harassment.” It said that the allegations range from 2002 to the present.

The Star said Ghomeshi, his lawyers and public relations staff have not responded to allegations in their latest report, which includes accusations from DeCoutere and other accusers who are not named.

A spokeswoman for Ghomeshi did not immediately respond to a request from The Canadian Press for comment.

DeCoutere alleged that in 2003 Ghomeshi “without warning or consent, choked her to the point she could not breathe and then slapped her hard three times on the side of her head,” the Star reported.

“He did not ask if I was into it. It was never a question. It was shocking to me. The men I have spent time with are loving people.”

The CBC announced Sunday that it was parting ways with Ghomeshi because of “information” it had received about him. A short time later, lawyers for Ghomeshi announced plans to sue the public broadcaster. Following that, Ghomeshi issued a long Facebook post in which he alleged that he had been fired from the public broadcaster for his “sexual behaviour.”

He said in the Facebook post that he engaged in adventurous forms of sex that included role-play, dominance and submission, along with “rough sex (forms of BDSM).” The activities were consensual and he and his partner used safe words to signal when to stop the activity, he said.

He is suing the CBC for $55 million for defamation and breach of trust. The corporation has said it will “vigorously” defend itself against Ghomeshi’s lawsuit.

The Star report published Wednesday night said Ghomeshi met some of the women during his a 2012 book tour for his memoir “1982.” It said he met others “at film festivals, at music or CBC events, or at the CBC workplace.”

The report said two of the women allege that the assaults took place in Ghomeshi’s home and that before they took place he “introduced them to Big Ears Teddy, a stuffed bear, and he turned the bear around just before he slapped or choked them, saying that ‘Big Ears Teddy shouldn’t see this.”’

DeCoutere told the newspaper she felt it was “time for someone to speak publicly about the matter.”

Wednesday’s story comes on the heels of a report Monday in the Star that contained allegations from three women who say he was physically violent to them without their consent during sexual encounters or in the run-up to such encounters. Ghomeshi – through his lawyer – responded that he “does not engage in non-consensual role play or sex and any suggestion of the contrary is defamatory.”

The Star also reported that a fourth woman who worked at the CBC alleged that Ghomeshi “approached her from behind and cupped her rear end in the Q studio” and made a sexually obscene comment to her during a story meeting. The Star reported that Ghomeshi told the newspaper that he did not understand why it was continuing to pursue allegations when “my lawyers have already told you it is untrue.”

After earlier saying no formal complaint was made, the Canadian Media Guild said Wednesday the CBC staffer told a work colleague that alleged “inappropriate comments were made,” but that the colleague did not report it to union staff.

Also Wednesday, the CBC aired a radio interview with a woman who alleges physically abusive acts by Ghomeshi more than 10 years ago, accusing the fired radio star of throwing her on the ground and “pounding” her in the head until her ears were ringing.

CBC said the woman it interviewed was not one of the four from the Star report. The woman told the network she did not know the women whose alleged accounts appeared in the Star.

In the radio interview, the woman, who was not identified, told CBC’s “As It Happens” that while in his car on their first date he asked her if she would undo her buttons.

“And I said ‘No’ because I didn’t know you. And he reached over and grabbed my hair very hard and pulled my head back. It really took me off guard.”

The woman said she thinks Ghomeshi asked if she liked it but doesn’t remember her response.

She said that she went on a second date to Ghomeshi’s house, where she says they were flirting when “he grabbed my hair again but even harder, threw me in front of him on the ground and started closed-first pounding me in the head. Repeatedly, until my ears were ringing.”

“There was no conversation about anything, ” she alleged in the 11-minute CBC interview. “He didn’t ask me if I like to be hit. He didn’t ask me – I wasn’t expecting it, and he hit me repeatedly.”

The woman told CBC: “We were fully clothed. We weren’t having sex.”

In the interview on CBC, the woman said she did not go to the police over the alleged incidents. She said she decided to come forward with her story after a recent Toronto Star report.

CBC says it agreed not to use the woman’s name, and that it tried to reach Ghomeshi but did not hear back by air time.

Ghomeshi could not be reached by The Canadian Press on Wednesday evening. A lawyer for Ghomeshi directed inquiries to his publicist, who did not respond.

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