TORONTO—A former colleague of Jian Ghomeshi who accused him of sexually assaulting her says his courtroom apology is an admission of guilt even though it won’t lead to a criminal conviction.
Kathryn Borel, a former CBC employee, says she agreed to a peace bond over a trial because “it seemed like the clearest path to the truth.”
She says that in the three years they worked together, Ghomeshi made it clear to her that “he could do what he wanted to me and my body.” According to the allegations read in court, Ghomeshi grabbed Borel from behind at work in 2008 and ground his pelvis into her.
Ghomeshi apologized Wednesday, May 11, for his “thoughtless and insensitive” behaviour, saying he has spent the last 18 months reflecting on his actions and the damage they have caused.
After signing a peace bond, the Crown withdrew the charge of sexual assault for which Ghomeshi was slated to stand trial in June. He was charged a year ago in relation to the incident.
Borel consented to waiving a court-ordered ban on publicly identifying her.
“I want to apologize to Ms. Borel for my behaviour toward her in the workplace,” Ghomeshi said.
“I now recognize that I crossed boundaries inappropriately. I did not appreciate the damage that I caused. I understand this now.”
Ghomeshi’s lawyer, Marie Henein, said he has come through the situation with dignity and the apology is “everything the Crown and courts” had asked him to do.
Crown lawyer Michael Callaghan read a brief statement of facts on which the prosecution relied for the peace bond.
“By apologizing for his actions, Mr. Ghomeshi accepts responsibility for his actions,” Callaghan said.
Ghomeshi will have to stay away from Borel and not possess weapons under the peace bond, which is not a finding of guilt.
In March, Ghomeshi was acquitted on sexual assault and choking charges related to three other complainants. He had previously insisted he did nothing wrong and pleaded not guilty.
From The Canadian Press