TORONTO – The most senior producer at the CBC Radio show “Q” is taking time off amid the scandal around its former host, Jian Ghomeshi, a spokesman said Tuesday.
Chuck Thompson, head of public affairs for English services, said executive producer Arif Noorani would be away for an unspecified period.
“He decided to take some time while we get more clarity around this situation,” Thompson said.
Noorani is reported to have been told by a union representative of allegations made by a former producer on the show that Ghomeshi had grabbed her and made a lewd suggestion.
However, a source has told The Canadian Press that the young woman, who has chosen not to be identified publicly, made no allegations of serious harassment to the union volunteer or Noorani despite her insistence that she did.
“They both said she didn’t tell them that – the sex details,” the source said.
“She just said he yelled at her – they were going over a script – and stormed out.”
Thompson confirmed that Noorani maintains he did not know of the sexual allegations.
The CBC fired Ghomeshi, 47, on Oct. 26 after seeing what it called “graphic evidence” that he had caused physical injury to a woman.
He is also under criminal investigation after at least three women complained to Toronto police he had physically or sexually assaulted them.
In all, nine women – most anonymously – have spoken to media outlets about how Ghomeshi, without warning, attacked them.
Of the three who have complained to police, only actress Lucy DeCoutere, star of “Trailer Park Boys,” has agreed to be identified.
Ghomeshi, who faces no charges, admitted in a lengthy Facebook posting to having a proclivity for rough sex but insisted all his encounters with women were consensual.
He has said he would meet the flurry of allegations “directly” but has yet to do so.
The CBC is also planning to announce who will conduct an independent investigation into the situation.
“We are looking to communicate that to our employees at some point (Tuesday),” Thompson said.
Ghomeshi has filed a $55-million lawsuit alleging defamation and breach of confidence against the CBC. He has also filed a union grievance alleging wrongful dismissal and defamation.