Did Ghomeshi have the right to share those videos?

Unless the women in them gave him permission, I’d say no


What do Robert Packwood, Paul Bernardo and Jian Ghomeshi have in common? They were all undone by their need to document their abusive – sometimes criminal – behaviour.

United States Senator Packwood’s political career unraveled in 1992 after 10 women made claims he had sexually harassed them on the job. He was able to keep the accusations at bay until investigators wanted to see his diary, which he withheld for as long as he could – for good reason. Not only had he recorded encounters with the women making the claim, he’d recorded the abuse of other women who hadn’t come forward.

Paul Bernardo might never have been convicted had police not found the infamous videos he’d taken of his crimes.

Now along comes Jian Ghomeshi, who thought if he just showed his CBC bosses video of bedroom activities, they’d see what an innocent, sex-positive guy he was.

I don’t know what those videos show. I don’t know what they contained that made those CBC execs realize that maybe Ghomeshi wasn’t the radio host for them. I only know that, whether it’s Packwood, Bernardo or Ghomeshi, the narcissistic urge to record and chronicle personal sexual behaviour has been known to take (alleged) abusers down. 

And I am willing to bet that, whether they consented to the sex or not, that the women in Ghomeshi’s trophy vids were not consulted before he decided he’d use them – the videos and the women – to make his case to the CBC brass. To protect his ass, he had no problem exposing theirs.

That is itself a form of abuse.

susanc@nowtoronto.com | @susangcole

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