Jian Ghomeshi apologized to former colleague Kathryn Borel today for his "thoughtless and insensitive" behaviour before signing a peace bond that saw the Crown withdraw a count of sexual assault against him.
"I now recognize that I’ve crossed boundaries," he said. "The workplace should not have any sexual tone.
"I did not appreciate the damage that I caused," he continued, "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."
Ghomeshi, who was supposed to stand a second trial in June, was acquitted of sexual assault and choking charges in March.
Linda Redgrave, one of the witnesses in the first case, visited the courthouse on Wednesday to give a statement. Redgrave, who was the first witness in Ghomeshi's trial and waived the court's publication ban on her identification, joined protesters outside the courthouse, holding a "Consent Just Ask" sign.
Redgrave told reporters that she hoped Ghomeshi would apologize to her, confess his guilt, and explain why he had assaulted her.
— Sarah Boesveld (@sarahboesveld) May 11, 2016
"Nobody challenged the fact that he assaulted me. Where's my apology?" she asked.
Lucy DeCoutere, a former "Trailer Park Boys" actress and one of the complainants in Ghomeshi's trial, chose not to physically attend the hearing, saying on Twitter she hoped followers would be kind to the people they loved.
While a Peace Bond is being signed and an 'carefully crafted apology' is being offered tomorrow morning, I'll be swimming.— lucy decoutere (@lucydecoutere) May 11, 2016
All I'll hear is my breath and all I'll feel is the water. Then I'll ride through the woods - where no one can touch or to talk to me.— lucy decoutere (@lucydecoutere) May 11, 2016
After stopping to catch my breath, maybe this last 18 months will make a little more sense. Be kind to people you love, especially today.— lucy decoutere (@lucydecoutere) May 11, 2016
DeCoutere also told the Canadian Press she was never given the option of seeking a peace bond, instead of testifying during the March trial. A peace bond, DeCoutere said, allowed Borel to avoid being subjected to the brutal cross-examination by Ghomeshi's lawyer, Marie Henein, and gave her the opportunity to tell her side of the story without the same amount of scrutiny that DeCoutere faced.
Canadians took to Twitter to share their reactions over Ghomeshi's peace bond and apology, with many saying his words meant little to the complainants.
A Peace Bond means Ghomeshi has to adhere to conditions for 1 year, will have no criminal record & has to admit to nothing. It's a disgrace.— Julie S. Lalonde (@JulieSLalonde) May 11, 2016
The circumstances surrounding #Ghomeshi are too familiar: man in power assaults liberally, survivors are undermined, the accused goes free.— Anne T. Donahue (@annetdonahue) May 11, 2016
The hashtag #WeBelieveSurvivors — made in solidarity with sexual assault survivors — resurfaced as protesters stood outside the courthouse.
Ghomeshi, 48, will have to stay away from Borel and "keep the peace and be of good behaviour" for 12 months. If Ghomeshi violates the conditions of the peace bond, he could face a separate charge of breaching a court order, according to the CBC.
Because a peace bond is a not finding of guilt, Ghomeshi will not be convicted or face a second trial.
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