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Crime

Jian Ghomeshi expresses ‘regret and embarrassment’ in apology read in court

Jian Ghomeshi said he failed to lead by example and regretted his behaviour towards Kathryn Borel in an apology read out in a Toronto court on Wednesday.

The former CBC radio host had his sexual assault charge withdrawn after signing a peace bond in relation to an incident involving the former CBC employee in 2008.

“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,” the statement read.

“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.”

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READ MORE: Jian Ghomeshi apologizes in court, signs peace bond; sexual assault charge dropped

Ghomeshi, 48, was charged last year in relation to the incident against the former Q producer, whose identity was protected by a publication ban but was lifted on Wednesday.

“I now recognize that I crossed boundaries inappropriately. A workplace should not have any sexualized tone,” Ghomeshi said in court.

Borel, who gave a statement outside the Old City Hall courthouse, said Ghomeshi grabbed her from behind at work in 2008 and ground his pelvis into her.

She said the two worked together for three years and that he made it clear to her that “he could do what he wanted to me and my body.”

READ MORE: Jian Ghomeshi accuser ‘saddened’ to hear he won’t face second sex assault trial

Ghomeshi  did not provide any details of the alleged sexual assault in his statement read in court but recognized he “crossed boundaries.”

“This incident was thoughtless and I was insensitive to her perspective and how demeaning my conduct was towards her. I understand this now,” he said.

Read Jian Ghomeshi’s full apology below:

I want to apologize to Ms. 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.

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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 that this was acceptable.

I apologize to my family 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.

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