POLITICS

CBC insiders to tell their stories in 'Fifth Estate' episode about Jian Ghomeshi

11/26/2014 04:16 EST | Updated 01/26/2015 05:59 EST
TORONTO - CBC is promising to tell the story of "what really happened" with Jian Ghomeshi in an upcoming episode of "The Fifth Estate."

The investigative program is set to run an hour-long documentary on the disgraced Q radio host Friday, titled "The Unmaking of Jian Ghomeshi."

"There will be numerous revelations that will cast a new light on what happened," executive producer Jim Williamson said in an e-mail.

Williamson said several employees speak up in the episode for the first time about what they experienced. "The Fifth Estate" pursued the story with support from CBC News senior management, and it will focus on what happened inside the CBC, not the criminal investigation, he said.

"In one sense it's a traditional 'Fifth Estate' investigation, the kind we do when there is an important story of wide relevance. But it's untraditional because it is painfully close to home; it's about our own network, and touches on some of our colleagues," he said.

But everyone "The Fifth Estate" approached felt it was critical for the program to "delve deep," no matter how difficult that might be, Williamson said.

"And so people opened up to us and told their stories. And now for the first time viewers will get a much fuller picture about what really happened."

In a preview, Ghomeshi is described as "the breakout success the CBC needed," but says that even as he became ubiquitous on TV, radio and at awards galas, there were "whispers and allegations."

The 47-year-old former CBC star was released on $100,000 bail Wednesday after he was arrested on sex assault charges. His lawyer Marie Henein said he will plead not guilty and will not make any statements to the media.

"The Fifth Estate" has been investigating why Ghomeshi seemed "untouchable" for years and whether people were blinded by his stardom, the episode preview says.

"This is a vital story to tell since it touches so many people in so many different ways. And it has set off an unprecedented national discussion about workplace culture," Williamson said.

The program is CBC's flagship newsmagazine series and has previously run exposes on scandal-plagued public figures, including outgoing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Senator Mike Duffy.

Ghomeshi was fired by CBC on Oct. 26 after the public broadcaster said it had seen "graphic evidence" that he had physically injured a woman.

Since his dismissal, nine women have come forward with allegations that Ghomeshi sexually or physically assaulted them. Three of them filed police complaints.

Ghomeshi has admitted that he engaged in "rough sex" but insisted his encounters with women were consensual.

Follow @ellekane on Twitter.