Eight women's accounts of abuse by Canadian broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi

In response to Jian Ghomeshi's firing by the CBC and his issuing a statement defending his personal life as "outside the mainstream", yet "consensual," a group of eight women have come forward with disturbing accounts of the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of the former Q host.

Among the group is Trailer Park Boys actor Lucy DeCoutere, who recalls her meeting with the radio personality circa 2003.

Over the course of the Star's investigation, women who say they were victimized said they did not feel comfortable putting their name to the allegations. Some say they feared retaliation from Ghomeshi, online harassment and a negative impact on their careers.

DeCoutere said it was time for someone to speak publicly about the matter.

She first met Ghomeshi at a barbecue at a Banff television festival in 2003. They chatted and, in time, she visited Toronto and they had dinner at a restaurant on the Danforth. She recalls him telling her how famous he was and "how lucky you are to be with me." They went back to his house in Riverdale. DeCoutere said they began making out and then she alleges he pushed her against the wall, choked her with his hands around her neck and then slapped her three times.

"That was something I had never experienced before," DeCoutere said. She left his house shortly after that in a taxi. "It did not escalate; it stopped," she said.

Another unsettling detail common to some of the women's experiences is the presence of "Big Ears Teddy," a stuffed bear Ghomeshi would turn around before inflicting his abuse upon them.

He then kissed her, she says, and while kissing he "pulled (her) hair so hard my neck flew backward, and when it did," she alleges, "he smacked me." She objected and asked why he did this. He laughed, she says, and explained to her that in order for him to build a future with her, he would need to see if they were sexually compatible, and she would have to "let (him) enjoy this the way (he) wants to." She says that he then turned his teddy bear around on his bed, telling her the bear "shouldn't see this."

Jian Ghomeshi: 8 women accuse former CBC host of violence, sexual abuse or harassment [The Toronto Star | Kevin Donovan]