Loading articles...

Ghomeshi withdraws $55M lawsuit against CBC, broadcaster says

Radio presenter Jian Ghomeshi arrives at CBC's Toronto studios for the recording of the 'Canada for Haiti' benefit show on Jan. 22, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Scandal-plagued former radio host Jian Ghomeshi has reached an agreement with the CBC to withdraw his $55-million lawsuit against the public broadcaster, a CBC spokesman said on Tuesday.

Ghomeshi was fired by the CBC last month amid allegations of “abusive behaviour” from numerous women — claims which he has denied.

The 47-year-old former “Q” radio host launched his lawsuit a day after the termination of his employment, alleging defamation and breach of confidence in his statement of claim.

The CBC then argued in court filings earlier this month that Ghomeshi’s allegations were frivolous or vexatious, and urged a court to dismiss the suit.

CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson confirmed that lawyers for both sides have now reached an agreement.

“The suit is being withdrawn with costs in favour of CBC,” he said. “He’s getting nothing.”

Ghomeshi is expected to pay $18,000 in legal costs to the CBC, Thompson said.

The agreement still needs to be formalized through a court — a step Thompson said is expected in the near future.

Ghomeshi had also filed a union grievance against the CBC alleging dismissal without cause, a matter which Thompson said still remains active.

“That’s the next piece,” he said. “That process still needs to unfold.”

A lawyer for Ghomeshi confirmed that the lawsuit between his client and the CBC “has been resolved.”

“CBC and Mr Ghomeshi will address all issues in the lawsuit in binding arbitration in accordance with the collective agreement between them,” said Jonathan Lisus. “Counsel appointed by the union will have carriage of the arbitration.”

The CBC has said it decided to fire Ghomeshi after seeing “graphic evidence” that he had physically injured a woman.

Since his dismissal, nine women have come forward with allegations, some dating back a decade, that Ghomeshi sexually or physically assaulted them, and police are investigating complaints by at least three of them.

Ghomeshi — who faces no charges — admitted in a lengthy Facebook post published on Oct. 26, the day he was fired, that he engaged in “rough sex,” but insisted his encounters with women were consensual.

In a follow-up post a few days later, he said he would meet the flurry of allegations against him “directly,” but has not made any public statements since.

The allegations against Ghomeshi led the CBC to launch an independent investigation into the scandal, a process that is being spearheaded by a Toronto employment lawyer with expertise in workplace harassment.

The CBC has urged anyone who worked on any of Ghomeshi’s shows to contact lead investigator Janice Rubin with any complaints, concerns or experiences involving harassment, discrimination, violence or other inappropriate workplace conduct.

The broadcaster has also begun its search for a permanent replacement for Ghomeshi on “Q” and is looking at possibly changing the name of the program in the future.