Read the statement from Ghomeshi complainant Kathryn Borel

‘Every day, over the course of a three-year period, Mr. Ghomeshi made it clear to me that he could do what he wanted to me and my body’

Complainant Kathryn Borel, a former colleague of Jian Ghomeshi who accused him of sexually assaulting her, speaks to the media after she agreed to a peace bond for Ghomeshi in Toronto, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. (Mark Blinch/CP)

Complainant Kathryn Borel, a former colleague of Jian Ghomeshi who accused him of sexually assaulting her, speaks to the media after she agreed to a peace bond for Ghomeshi in Toronto, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. (Mark Blinch/CP)

Kathryn Borel is a former colleague of Jian Ghomeshi who was allegedly sexually assaulted by the former CBC host. The charges against him for those instances were dropped after Ghomeshi signed a peace bond on Wednesday. You can read Ghomeshi’s apology here. Borel delivered the following statement outside the courthouse.

Hi everyone. Thanks for coming out and listening. My name is Kathryn Borel. In December of 2014, I pressed sexual assault charges against Jian Ghomeshi. As you know, Mr. Ghomeshi initially denied all the charges that were brought against him. But today, as you just heard, Jian Ghomeshi admitted to wrongdoing and apologized to me.

It’s unfortunate, but maybe not surprising, that he chose not to say much about what exactly he was apologizing for. I’m going to provide those details for you now.

Every day, over the course of a three year period, Mr. Ghomeshi made it clear to me that he could do what he wanted to me and my body. He made it clear that he could humiliate me repeatedly and walk away with impunity. There are at least three documented incidents of physical touching. This includes the one charge he just apologized for, when he came up behind me while I was standing near my desk, put his hands on my hips, and rammed his pelvis against my backside over and over, simulating sexual intercourse. Throughout the time that I worked with him, he framed his actions with near daily verbal assaults and emotional manipulations. These inferences felt like threats, or declarations that I deserved what was happening to me. It became very difficult for me to trust what I was feeling.

Up until recently, I didn’t even internalize that what he was doing to my body was sexual assault. Because when I went to the CBC for help, what I received in return was a directive that yes, he could do this, and yes, it was my job to let him. The relentless message to me, from my celebrity boss and from the national institution we worked for was that his whims were more important than my humanity or my dignity. So I came to accept this. I came to believe it was his right. But when I spoke to the police at the end of 2014, and detailed my experiences with Mr. Ghomeshi, they confirmed that what he did to me was, in fact, sexual assault.

And that is what Jian Ghomeshi just apologized for: the crime of sexual assault. This is a story of a man who had immense power over me and my livelihood, admitting that he chronically abused his power and violated me in ways that violate the law. Mr. Ghomeshi’s constant workplace abuse of me and my many colleagues has since been corroborated by multiple sources, a CBC Fifth Estate documentary, and a third-party investigation.

In a perfect world, people who commit sexual assault would be convicted for their crimes. Jian Ghomeshi is guilty of having done the things that I’ve outlined today. So when it was presented to me that the defense would be offering us an apology, I was prepared to forego the trial. It seemed like the clearest path to the truth. A trial would have maintained his lie — the lie that he was not guilty — and would have further subjected me to the very same pattern of abuse that I am currently trying to stop.

Jian Ghomeshi has apologized, but only to me. There are more than 20 other women who have come forward to the media and made serious allegations about his violent behavior. Women who have come forward to say that he punched, and choked, and smothered and silenced them. There is no way I would have come forward if it weren’t for their courage. And yet Mr. Ghomeshi hasn’t met any of their allegations head on, as he vowed to do in his Facebook post from 2014. He hasn’t taken the stand on any charge. All he’s said about his other accusers is that they’re all lying and that he’s not guilty. And remember: that’s what he said about me.

I think we all want this to be over. But it won’t be until he admits to everything he’s done. Thank you.


Read the statement from Ghomeshi complainant Kathryn Borel

  1. She has done a lot of good by accepting this “end”. Unfortunately it has become commonplace for “abusers of all sorts” to act with impunity. Especially when those in authority willingly turn a blind eye because (a) it is too much trouble (b) they are afraid of blowback themselves. Instead whistleblowers themselves get blackballed or told to suck it up.
    So good on her. She should be proud for the rest of her life.
    When I say abusers of all sorts….I mean to include all those who abuse positions of power and not just for “sexual type harassment”.
    Think of Rob Ford. Think of Trump. Unfortunately for policitians running for office there seems to no one in authority to turn to for relief..

  2. A truly pathetic response. I am sure her lawyers tried to talk her out of it, but a person like that listens only to the voices in her head. Sad.

    • What lawyers? The Crown lawyers don’t represent her. The victims of sexual assault are without representation in the judicial process, which is why it is so easy for rapists and abusers to get away with their crimes.

      No one is the real positions of power at the CBC have lost their jobs. No one in the CBC employees union management has lost their jobs. The enablers of Ghomeshi are still getting paid by the taxpayer.

  3. Listen to snippets of Kathryn Borel’s December 2013 interview (one year before she made public allegations against Ghomeshi), involving Borel, her boyfriend, and interviewer Jesse Brown, the journalist who originally publicized the allegations against Ghomeshi. Borel and Brown apparently have been close friends for over 10 years.

    Self-admitted egomaniac Kathryn Borel once cheerfully agreed with an interviewer that she was “incredibly inappropriate, foul-mouthed and sexual” in the CBC workplace while working with Ghomeshi.

    Borel agreed with her friend Jesse Brown’s description that Borel was a “bizarre rabid unicorn at the CBC, (she) were so strange in that environment, (she) played by her own rules in a way that would have gotten so many people fired instantly… (she’s) incredibly inappropriate, foul-mouthed and sexual and culturally out of step… there was a liability issue… (she) made people very nervous, it just was a complete culture clash of who (she was)”.

    Christie Blatchford: “Is Ghomeshi complaint being dropped over credibility issues? Interview may hold clues…

    “The interview with Brown, a good friend of the woman and co-author of the original Toronto Star story on the allegations that Ghomeshi was physically violent to his partners, is important because it may suggest why prosecutors are expected to withdraw the single charge…

    “In other words, this complainant, like the three who went before her in March at Ghomeshi’s first trial, may be vulnerable to questions about her credibility….

    “She told Brown that “I definitely got rapped on the knuckles for my behaviour” at the broadcaster for such things as “making a terrible fist-f—ing joke in the middle of a story meeting” and said she often felt she was walking “a tightrope.”…

    “And when he told her she was so much a fish out of water at the CBC — “incredibly inappropriate, foul-mouthed and sexual and culturally out of step” — that her behaviour would have got anyone else fired, she said she was just 23 and “making it up as I go along.”

    “Despite her public statements in December of 2014 that Ghomeshi’s constant sexually aggressive conduct had not only driven her to binge-drinking, overeating and depression, she, Brown and her boyfriend (who was part of the interview) discussed at length her copious wine-drinking, “manic” behaviour and outsized appetites. “I wanted enough money for my appetites,” she told Brown once, “and my appetites have always been great. That’s it.”

    “The bizarre interview… presented a radically different picture of the woman than the one she painted when she outed herself as an alleged victim… the interview suggests the CBC environment was “proper and dry” and that it was the woman “who brought inappropriate sexual conduct into the office.”

    (From “Is Ghomeshi complaint being dropped over credibility issues?”)

    • Being inappropriate, foul mouthed and sexual does not mean she deserved being abused.

      Since Ghomeshi has not admitted she had reasonable grounds to be fearful of him, I suggest her credibility is intact. Not to mention the fact that it was Ghomeshi who asked for the peace bond, and the complainant who agreed to it.

      • It is difficult for a person to argue that they feel embarrassment, discomfort and shock when on the receiving end of inappropriate behaviour that they themselves routinely practice in the workplace.

        And if Ghomeshi initiated the peace bond process, good on him. It was the only way to get out from under the deceptive, manipulative, dishonest, disgusting attacks from individuals who clearly have need for psychiatric care … and not because they were “assaulted” by anybody.

        • Wow. You are equating being vulgar with being abusive and causing someone fear for their safety. A woman who swears and talks about sex is not inviting abuse, sexual or otherwise.

          And you may be correct about the peace bond, but I doubt it. I rather suspect it was the best way for him to guarantee he is convicted. And for what it is worth, I personally believe that was the correct outcome.

          • You are equating sexual harassment with sexual assault and rape. It’s a common problem in this politically-correct, anti-social media era.

          • Ummm, what? Please point to where I equate sexual harassment with sexual assault (FYI, rape IS sexual assault, at least under the law).

        • See a little “Jian” in the mirror, Tangler?

          • Better than seeing a vicious, delusional paranoid like Borel.

      • Borel obviously carefully-rehearsed her statement that was carefully prepared and reviewed by her publicist, lawyer and other advisors.

        Now listen to how different Kathryn Borel sounds with her guard down and making impromptu, unrehearsed comments. Borel and her buddy Jesse Brown reveal that Borel was “a bizarre rabid unicorn” who had been sexualizing and affecting the CBC workplace environment to such a degree that she was creating a legal liability for the CBC. They even characterized Borel as being the only person who was acting improperly in the workplace. Borel even got rapped on the knuckles a few times for her bad behavior. Her big beef with Ghomeshi was that he did not give the “egomaniac” Borel the recognition she felt she deserved.

        GAYLE, it is not the radical feminist issue of “does not mean she deserved being abused” but whether Borel herself engaged in, encouraged and/or consented to similar behaviours with Ghomeshi and other colleagues inside the workplace. Over the next few months, it is likely that Borel’s former CBC colleagues as well as Ghomeshi’s book will reveal just how sexual she was in the CBC workplace and what really happened between Borel/Ghomeshi as well as Borel and her other colleagues. Who knows what cellphone video recordings, photos and stories will surface showing how Borel actually behaved. So we will soon find out whether or not Borel engaged and encouraged in the kind of sexual behaviours that she accused Ghomeshi of doing to her as well as the context in which the incident occurred and what prompted or encouraged it.

        GAYLE, what official facts (not speculation) do you have that “it was Ghomeshi who asked for the peace bond, and the complainant who agreed to it”? In a peace bond, it is the prosecutor who agrees to the peace bond – not the complainant. Since peace bond negotiations are private, between the prosecutor and the defense lawyer, there is no official confirmation of which side first hinted, suggested or initiated the peace bond. No one else may know about some private one-on-one meetings between the prosecutor and Henein.

        As criminal lawyer David Butt analyzed in G&M: “A peace bond means Ghomeshi case was on life support… A peace bond is part of a privately negotiated outcome to a criminal case… Whenever a serious charge is resolved with a peace bond, the unstated message is that the case was on life support. In serious cases, a peace bond is an all-but abject surrender by the prosecution, a face-saving measure just shy of a complete abandonment of the case… So why is the prosecution now all but walking away from a relatively serious case?… Peace bond negotiations are private, between the prosecutor and the defence lawyer. Complainants have a right to be consulted during negotiations, but have no veto.” From “A peace bond means Ghomeshi case was on life support”

        • A. It was not a serious case. It was a low end sexual assault. So no… I also read this column and I do not think he says what you think he says. He suggests there may be many reasons for a peace bond, including the fact that our justice system really is inapt when it comes to dealing with sexual assaults. In any event, he seems to be presuming it was the crown who sought the peace bond, when we now know it was the defence. Since the column was printed yesterday I presume he wrote it before he knew all the facts.

          B. There is no way to spin your post to mean anything other than a woman who uses vulgar language must be asking to be assaulted.

          Nice try though.

          • Nice try yourself. Lawyers from all sides can agree on what I had specifically quoted from lawyer David Butt because these factual points regarding peace bonds. Given this, it still debunks your earlier points :)

            You, on the other hand, have misquoted aspects of what David Butt stated that are highly controversial. Many lawyers and jurists will not agree with such controversial views. In the You Tube video “The Ghomeshi Verdict – TFF Episode 35” where U of Ottawa’s Professor Janice Fiamengo discusses the Ghomeshi trial verdict, critical legal theory and its impact on the presumption of innocence. As well, watch a panel of experts debate pertinent legal issues in the You Tube clip “Ghomeshi on Trial: Panel Debates Sexual Assault and the Law” Also search for the article: “#WeBelieveWomen: Hostages of Modern Feminism”

            Contrary to your misrepresentation, David Butt went much further than simply stating that “the reasons for a peace bond, including the fact that our justice system really is inapt when it comes to dealing with sexual assaults”He limited the court’s focus to “the needs of sexual assault survivors” that he presumes are “legitimate” (what Butt actually wrote was: “It is possible that the second Ghomeshi trial foundered for all the wrong reasons. I have said that criminal courts are currently structurally incapable of serving the legitimate needs of sexual assault survivors.”)

            We cannot trust the impartiality of David Butt’s subjective view regarding this. That’s because Butt was the lawyer who represented and advised one of the discredited witnesses in the Ghomeshi trial as well as routinely represents complainants in sexual-assault cases. Butt’s view indicates that he may be a radical feminist sympathizer and/or, more likely, simply saying the right things to attract more sexual assault clients as well as to change the court system to help him win more cases. If he were truly on the side of sexual assault accusers Butt would have focused on the entire justice system, not just the courts.

            Finally, you have failed to answer: what is your hard proof that “it was the defence” that sought the peace bond? There has been no official comment from either the prosecution or defense on which side initiated the peace bond. What has been reported is speculation: an unnamed source claims it is the defense. So you do not know who is this unnamed source. For all you know, the unnamed source could it be the lawyer of one of the complainants trying to create the false perception that Ghomeshi’s defense caved instead of the prosecution trying to find a way to avoid another humiliating defeat.

          • Gayle: “There is no way to spin your post to mean anything other than a woman who uses vulgar language must be asking to be assaulted”

            You keep cherry picking and twisting what I posted.

            As I stated and NP’s Christie Blatchford stated (“Ghomeshi complaint being dropped over credibility issues?”, Borel cheerfully agreed as Jesse Brown painted her as a “bizarre rabid unicorn” who was incredibly inappropriate and sexual in her workplace behaviour in a way that “would have gotten so many people fired instantly.” Borel’s unguarded interview with Jesse Brown also suggests that the CBC workplace environment was “proper and dry” and that it was Borel who brought inappropriate sexual conduct into the office.

            It’s obvious that Borel is no angel in this. So there is probably much more to the whole incident that would have been revealed by the defense had the trial proceeded.

            From the interview, it sounds like it is possible that Borel herself might have engaged in inappropriate sexual behaviours — perhaps just like she had accused Ghomeshi of doing to her. What if, for example, Borel had previously grabbed Ghomeshi’s testicles, pinched his nipples or slapped his butt — or if Borel had publicly done such things to another co-worker? What if she mooned her butt to Ghomeshi or another worker? It would give more context to the incident.

            Maybe Ghomeshi signed the peace bond and said what he said because he knows that soon further information will be revealed about Borel’s behaviour in the workplace that will make Ghomeshi’s admission seem magnanimous and strategically smart.

            So stayed tuned as Borel’s former colleagues spill the beans on her and what really happened in that CBC workplace between Borel, Ghomeshi and other co-workers.

          • You know when you make stuff up, it is not actually an argument, right?

            Oh never mind. I don’t think you know that at all.

          • Gayle: You know that ideologues (such as radical feminists) are unable to deal with hypotheticals, don’t you? Oh never mind. I don’t think you know there is “A Process Model of Legal Argument with Hypotheticals” :)

            Actually, you are making stuff up :) Given the existing evidence, I basically suggested examples of possible ‘what ifs’ in order to show how easily a perspective based on one side of the story can change when new information is presented (I did not make any stuff up since I did not represent those examples as true — I clearly stated or implied they are ‘what if’). This happened in the February trial when the complainants told their highly-edited story but the evidence (e.g., the third complainant’s masturbation of Ghomeshi) proved a dramatically different reality that discredited their stories.

            Now tell us, how do you reconcile this?

            – Borel: “Every day, over the course of a three year period, Mr. Ghomeshi made it clear to me that he could do what he wanted to me and my body.” Three years is about 750 days of daily, almost continual abuse — or so she alleges.

            – Yet, in her interview with Jesse Brown in December 2013, not once did Borel mention anything about being abused by Ghomeshi. Borel explains that her conflict with Ghomeshi was that she wanted to be recognized for her contributions but Ghomeshi’s did not want the audience to know she existed.

          • Oh dear lord. She did not mention it in an interview so it did not happen?

            Grasp for straws much? Actually, why do I ask? One need only read your verbose posts to know the answer.

          • Gayle, given that you are a radical feminist who continually grasps AT straws, invoking a supreme being will not help you :)

            Impartial readers would understand the significance of the December 2013 interview between Jesse Brown and Kathryn Borel, which was done only one year before Borel’s December 2014 Guardian article opportunistically bashed Ghomeshi. Brown is the ‘yellow journalism’ muckraker (a) who initially connected with the various accusers and complainants against Ghomeshi in 2013/2014 and (b) who originally broke the stories in the media that started this whole Ghomeshi saga in 2014 – without Jesse Brown, the Ghomeshi dsaga would not have happened. Brown and Borel have been good friends for over 10 years, and Borel was Brown’s first informant on Ghomeshi.

            Given that during the interview Brown brought up Ghomeshi, brought up Borel/Ghomeshi’s workplace issues and brought up Borel’s own inappropriate sexual conduct in her workplace, YES, it very significant that Borel (a) did not mention her allegations about Ghomeshi in any way and (b) stated that her conflict with Ghomeshi was that he did not give the “egomaniac” Borel the recognition she felt she deserved.

            This is significant — even a credible journalist like Christie Blatchford understands that what was said in that December 2013 interview affects her credibility (search for “Ghomeshi complaint being dropped over credibility issues?”).

            Christie Blatchford: “The complainant, Kathryn Borel, came out with a statement that was inaccurate in its recounting of what had just gone on moments before in Courtroom 125. When she first told Toronto Police what had happened to her at Ghomeshi’s hands, she said, “They confirmed to me what he did to me was in fact sexual assault. And that’s what Jian Ghomeshi just apologized for — the crime of sexual assault…“ In fact, Ghomeshi didn’t apologize for anything other than sexually inappropriate conduct and being insensitive to the fact that it was demeaning to Borel. He certainly didn’t apologize “for the crime of sexual assault.” And for Borel to thank the legion of other Ghomeshi accusers for giving her strength to come forward was too cute by half: She was, after all, one of the original four women quoted if not named in the first Star story that set the ball rolling. She came forward officially only two months later when she wrote a column in The Guardian, presumably having been inspired by her own courage in coming forward anonymously that she did it again but this time with her name.” (Read: “Christie Blatchford: At the end of the day, Ghomeshi is left with no record except a life in ruins” )

  4. Keep advancing the agenda and pretending it was all one sided.
    incredible how often those who were so “harmed” by mr ghomeshi were actually fairly active participants.
    listen to her interview with Jesse Brown before making an assessment in this case.

    • ‘Pretend it was all one sided…” It went on for three years. Three years over which she complained to her supervisor and the HR department at CBC at least 3 times that is recorded. What came first the chicken or the egg? You say it wasn’t one sided but if you were harassed for three years, at what point after your boss told you your job was to take whatever the star dished out, would you stand up and dish back a little of same? Please recall these victims are human beings. This victim has a trail of complaints on her side. She went through due process and the CBC failed her. They fired two managers and now admit to failing her. Perhaps you have better coping skills than she did and would be unchanged by what she experienced under Ghomeshi. Are you suggesting his apology was coerced? Why didn’t he just have his lawyer decimate her in court? Kobe Bryant’s legal team decimated his victim prior to her day in court and she withdrew the charges and in the end he admitted she said ‘no’. Yet is didn’t affect Kobe’s career. Why is it that you analyze the victim and expect her to stand up to anything that a man in power throws at her and remain unchanged yet when Ghomeshi apologizes for his behavior in treating her sexually inappropriately and CBC acknowledges that she was treated poorly, you just can’t admit she was a victim. Ever heard of PTSD? Why don’t you give some credence to a lawyer who specializes in sexual assault and was on the Fifth Estate last week. In 3 out of 1000 cases filed, the perp is found not guilty. That is a failure rate of over 99 percent. Do you think those women aren’t changed by their experiences? Do you truly believe all those perps are not guilty? If Ghomeshi was so innocent why did he attend 60 hours of therapy to learn that he had an issue with power and women? Why did he apologize in open court?
      Why did he keep 10 year old emails of women he happened to hit and pull their hair? Why didn’t he attend S&M clubs if that is what he was into and it was consensual? Wake up and get a clue. People who fight back aren’t ‘active’ participants. They are fed up with the unfairness of the system. Those who look for some exceptence from their perp blame themselves for getting hit. It isn’t rocket science.

      • wow, that comment careens around quite a bit. I’ll pick a couple of items for response.
        Apology coerced? Yes, the state, with it’s unlimited resources and unpredictable outcomes has the power to coerce an apology in situations where the accused does not believe they did wrong. The cost of another trial after one in which the state failed miserably alone could coerce an apology. I believe this apology was negotiated by all parties involved and that there is a reason it does not include the specifics of the actions.
        Read Jane Doe’s column in NOW mag. She claims that sexual assault is becoming an industry for many, including the lawyers who specialize in this area and receive huge fees (and who I believe are looking for an opportunity to be funded by the state). Not all lawyers are fountains of truth.
        I don’t know yet which came first in the case of Borel, ghomeshi’s actions or hers. But her statement leaves out much of her previous comments on the situation. She has been spinning this story in different directions for a long time.

  5. So does she just get to spend the next few years making accusations against Ghomeshi and the CBC that they can’t refute because of the monstrous social media? These women have introduced a new trope to me — the narcissistic victim. No system in the Western world is capable of addressing the tremendous, operatic grandeur of the wrong that was done them, real or imagined, that they are tragically unable to put behind them.

    I’m no fan of the CBC lately, but does the tale of bureaucrats telling her that Ghomeshi could do what he wanted with her body strike anyone else as ridiculous? And there’s the media calling her statement “powerful”. I’d really like to see the media examine their own sorry coverage of this melodrama.

    • Umm – the CBC has admitted they wronged her.

      But don’t let the facts get in your way.

      • They certainly did not verify that the statements she attributes to them are true. They could very well be in a difficult position, where they can’t explain the specifics of how they responded without bringing up personal matters about Borel. She is under no such constraint.

        The CBC and the union no doubt responded inadequately. But did any of them say, as she implies, that she needed to go back and have her physical integrity violated? That’s a stretch.

        It’s more likely that they responded slowly, as bureaucrats are wont to do, in the interests of due process. They may have considered the source. They may have been getting complaints from co-workers about her. That’s speculation on my part, but hey, that’s kind of the order of the day, isn’t it.

        Whatever the situation, the specifics of her statement should be taken with a grain of salt, not taken on as “fact”. She’s basically slandering people who can’t call her on it in this forum. Court would have been a different story.

        • I am pretty sure that the CBC would deny this statement if it were not true. As it stands, she made the statement, the CBC acknowledges they did not treat her or her complaint properly, and that is all you have to go on.

          But you keep on making “facts” up to fit your narrative.

    • Thanks for the addition to my vocabulary – “narcissistic victim”. Sadly, I see them in the news every day. Worse, I see many of their supporters …

Sign in to comment.