Penguin Random House Canada is cutting ties with former Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio host Jian Ghomeshi, who is currently embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal. The publisher has canceled Ghomeshi's forthcoming book, citing the headline-grabbing situation as its reason.
The publisher's Viking Canada imprint released Ghomeshi's bestselling memoir, 1982, in 2012. PRH Canada spokesperson Tracey Turriff would not comment on what had been expected from his next book, and would only say that the decision was made "in light of recent events."
The Canadian publisher is the latest company to distance itself from the former host of the popular arts and culture program, Q. Ghomeshi, 47, was fired by the CBC (which produces Q) on October 26, amid allegations, by several women, that he violently sexually assaulted them.
Since Ghomeshi's firing, he has been dropped by his PR firm, Rock-it Promotions; his agent, Jack Ross of Toronto-based company The Agency; and his crisis management firm, Navigator. On Oct. 27, Ghomeshi filed a C$55-million lawsuit against the CBC for breach of confidence and defamation.
The Toronto Star and other media outlets have published allegations by at least eight women who claim Ghomeshi engaged in non-consensual violent behavior, from choking them to hitting them in the head.
Ghomeshi has claimed he simply enjoys “rough sex,” and that the sex in question was always consensual. As of Monday, three women had gone to the Toronto police, including Canadian actress Lucy DeCoutere, who appears in the TV series, Trailer Park Boys.
At a press conference on Saturday, Toronto police Inspector Joanna Beaven-Desjardins, head of the sex-crimes unit, asked for anyone with videos, photographs, or social media messages, relating to the investigation, to come forward. “Three people have contacted us providing information that they have been victimized relating to these allegations,” she said, adding that the department is now doing an "active investigation into these allegations.”
Ghomeshi’s current whereabouts is unknown. His last public statement was made on Thursday via his Facebook page. “I want to thank you for your support and assure you that I intend to meet these allegations directly,” he wrote. “I don’t intend to discuss this matter any further with the media.”