The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. has put two senior managers on extended leave of absences just weeks after a prominent former radio host was arrested for sexual assault, the public broadcaster announced Monday.
The ex-host, Jian Ghomeshi, was charged in November with four counts of sexual assault in a case that has rocked the country's vaunted public broadcaster. The CBC fired Ghomeshi in October, just before media reports emerged of of sexual assault allegations against him.
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Ghomeshi, who was the host of "Q," a popular radio show on culture that was heard on many public stations in the United States, has denied the allegations, saying he had consensual "rough sex" with women.
The CBC announced Monday head of radio Chris Boyce and Todd Spencer, executive director of human resources, are taking leaves. CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson called it a management decision and said it wasn't voluntary. Thompson said it has to do with Ghomeshi but declined to comment further. Both managers were central in dealing with Ghomeshi when the CBC was investigating allegations against him over the summer.
Boyce told the CBC's "the fifth estate" program in November that the CBC had conducted an internal investigation into Ghomeshi this past summer but it didn't yield anything. He told the investigative program that the inquiry included talks with staff members of Ghomeshi's show, but staffers told the fifth estate they were not spoken to.
An employment lawyer is conducting an investigation into how the CBC handled the Ghomeshi file.
Ghomeshi, who first gained fame as a member of the 1990s satirical pop band Moxy Fruvous, is due in court again on Thursday. He's out on bail and living in his mother's house. A publication ban on details about the case has been imposed.
The CBC previously said Ghomeshi's firing was prompted by the emergence of "graphic" evidence that he had caused physical injury to a person.
Ghomeshi defended his actions in a 1,500-word statement on Facebook, saying women consented to having "rough sex" with him and that he's the victim of a disgruntled ex-girlfriend. After the Toronto Star reported several more allegations days later, Ghomeshi posted that he would confront the accusations "directly," but wouldn't discuss them with the media.
Police urged in late October for other women to come forward and launched an investigation after nine women contacted various media sources to report incidents of assault and sexual assault involving Ghomeshi.