TORONTO – Former CBC radio star Jian Ghomeshi apologized in court Wednesday to a former colleague who had accused him of sexually assaulting her at work. The charge of sexual assault — which he had pleaded not guilty to — was withdrawn and he signed a peace bond. His lawyer said the resolution of the case was not an admission. Here is the text of Ghomeshi’s apology:
I apologize to Ms. (Kathryn) Borel for my behaviour 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 had to 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 behaviour, 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. This is a challenging business to be in and I did not need to make it more difficult for Ms. Borel. The past 18 months have been an education for 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 has had on my dear mother and my sister. I apologize for the burden my actions have placed on those dear friends who have stood by me throughout this difficult time. I regret my behaviour at work with all of my heart and I hope that I can find forgiveness from those for whom my actions took such a toll.