Jian Ghomeshi's lawsuit against the CBC has been withdrawn.
Ghomeshi launched the $55 million suit for defamation, breach of confidence and punitive damages last month after alleging in a Facebook post that the CBC fired him over his private sex life. At least 14 people have since alleged that Ghomeshi harassed or assaulted them.
Parties in #JianGhomeshi have reached settlement. 55 million $ lawsuit has been withdrawn— Ioanna Roumeliotis (@IoannaCBC) November 25, 2014
— Ioanna Roumeliotis (@IoannaCBC) November 25, 2014
CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson told the Toronto Star that the settlement was reached Friday but that it still needs to be "formalized through a court order." He specified that Ghomeshi will pay the CBC $18,000 in legal costs.
Thompson told The Globe and Mail that Ghomeshi will continue to pursue his reinstatement through a grievance previously filed with his union, the Canadian Media Guild.
Ghomeshi's public Facebook page, the site of his now- famous defence, appeared to have been deleted as of Tuesday afternoon. The former host's personal page remains active. Ghomeshi's Twitter account was deleted on Nov. 20.
News that Ghomeshi's suit has been dropped may not come as a surprise to those who have been closely following the legal saga. Numerous experts have pointed out that unionized employees cannot sue for wrongful dismissal and that arbitration through his union was always the only legally viable option. The CBC filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit earlier this month.
Lawyer Howard Levitt wrote last month in the Financial Post that the suit had "everything to do with strategy and PR — but nothing to do with legal entitlement."
It seems, however, that Ghomeshi's PR battle is largely over, if not completely lost. He was dumped by his both his PR and crisis management firms late last month. The Toronto Star reported that Navigator, which specializes in guiding prominent people through scandal, parted ways with Ghomeshi because it concluded he lied to them about the number of allegations.
While his lawsuit is over, Ghomeshi still faces another potential court battle. The Toronto Police have said they are investigating him. At least three women have filed complaints about Ghomeshi with the police, including Lucy Decoutere, an actress and training development officer with the Canadian Forces, who alleges that Ghomeshi choked and slapped her without her consent.
Ghomeshi has retained the services of lawyer Marie Henein, who has defended a number of high-profile clients, including former Ontario attorney general Michael Bryant.
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