I visited him a couple of times in Cabbagetown and he was rather house proud, pointing out new pieces of expensive furniture, the gleaming wood floors and his collection of Persian rugs. He’s often spoken of feeling like an outsider because of his Iranian background, and I believe that being born on the fringes of the dominant Canadian culture fuelled his ambition. I didn’t have much to show for myself back in my 20s, but I did have a column in the country’s most respected newspaper.
He owned two houses, one in Riverdale, which he rented out as an income property, a fact I found mind-bogglingly impressive in my 20s. He got a taste of fame in Moxy Früvous—jiggling his ringlets as the band busked on Queen West—and now he wanted the same thing but on a bigger scale.
The other property was an enormous, modern loft-like townhouse in Cabbagetown, where he lived before moving to an even bigger place in the Beach. He was determined to have establishment credibility.
My editor sent me to interview the band Moxy Früvous, who had been gigging around Toronto since I was in high school.
They were a terminally geeky folk band who name-checked Margaret Atwood in their lyrics for airplay on CBC Radio.
More unpleasant details have emerged in the case of Jian Ghomeshi, the iconic Canadian broadcaster who was fired from his CBC radio show "Q" this past Sunday.
While details of his dismissal weren’t immediately clear, a Toronto Star article released Sunday night revealed that four women alleged that Ghomeshi was violent with them during or leading up to sex. The other women share a range of accusations, including nonconsensual choking, hitting, verbal abuse, and workplace sexual harassment.
Even back then he enjoyed flipping back and forth between politically correct and sexually inappropriate. Reading over my piece 16 years later, I noticed he was the only one of the band members who got much ink.
After the interview, the band dispersed and I ended up walking and chatting with Jian.
Ghomeshi responded to the firing with a million lawsuit against the CBC and a lengthy Facebook post about his proclivities for BDSM and the claim that the firing was based on a “moral judgment” about his personal sexual preferences. Here's the story from one woman, a twentysomething fan of Ghomeshi’s who met him at a book-signing event: She alleges that in the stairwell, Ghomeshi slammed her against a cement wall and she dropped her belongings.