Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ex-Radio Star Jian Ghomeshi: From Obscurity to Fame to Infamy To.?

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ex-Radio Star Jian Ghomeshi: From Obscurity to Fame to Infamy To.?

Article excerpt

Jian Ghomeshi: Obscurity, fame and infamy

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TORONTO - As a certified celebrity, Jian Ghomeshi soared to dizzying heights of national and even international admiration before his career crashed and burned amid allegations that he used his stardom as a shield to hide his sexual predilections that police allege crossed from the kinky to the criminal.

On Monday, the courts will begin sorting out whether he engaged in consensual "rough sex," as Ghomeshi claims, or whether, as three women claim, he sexually assaulted them.

Whatever the verdict, expected several weeks down the road, it's an open question whether the former host of the CBC radio program "Q" will ever be able to recover from the barrage of bad publicity the allegations unleashed.

Those who know Ghomeshi best describe him as a complex character: thoughtful and considerate, a bit weird, possessed of an uncanny knack for connecting with people.

"I knew him to be a charming, if temperamental, narcissist who desperately wanted to be adored," Ghomeshi's friend, Leah McLaren, wrote last year in an article for Toronto Life.

Those who worked with him, according to an investigative report made public, described him as moody, often mean and disrespectful, and "creepy" toward female colleagues he worked with.

For years, however, nothing seemed to block the ever-brightening light that was Ghomeshi.

Born in England to Iranian parents before coming to the Toronto area at age 9, Ghomeshi, 48, would earn widespread accolades for a golden-voiced interview style that put his celebrity subjects at ease and elicited sensitive information.

He had initially found himself in the public spotlight as a singer-drummer with Moxy Fruvous, a modestly successful satirical folk-pop group, in the late 1980s. But in 2002, the stars began aligning for him when he shifted to broadcasting, becoming host of an arts-oriented program with Canada's public broadcaster.

Several more music-related CBC gigs followed until he had earned the street cred that allowed him in 2007 to launch his own live radio show called "Q. …

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