I don’t need to recap CBC radio star Ghomeshi’s recent troubles, all stemming from allegations that his notion of foreplay is to choke a woman until she can’t breathe. It’s all here. And here. And here. Read, and be disgusted.
No criminal charges have been brought against Ghomeshi yet. But if you were him, and you wanted to scare the crap out of the women who are considering whether to go forward with cases against you, would you not hire a lawyer who has been likened to the scariest mind-wrecker ever brought to life in film? Henein’s former client Michael Bryant wrote this of his former defender: “She ‘seemed to channel Hannibal Lecter,’ Bryant wrote in his 2012 book, 28 Seconds. ‘So able was she to find a person’s deepest frailties and exploit them.’”
That’s just fantastic. Let’s make sure that every woman who has grounds to accuse Ghomeshi is damn clear that she would be psychologically ripped to shreds on the stand, and she would probably have nightmares and suffer from PTSD once Henein was done. Because getting demeaned, assaulted and intimidated by Ghomeshi the first time wasn’t bad enough.
Henein has a stellar track record. She gets glowing commendations from loads of people. She’s a kick-butt lawyer, and everyone deserves the best defense possible, yes. But there’s a reason Jian Ghomeshi hired her, “Hannibal Lecter,” NOW, before any charges have been filed: to scare Ghomeshi’s victims out of pursuing charges at all.
Men and women across Canada and the U.S. have responded preemptively, letting Ghomeshi’s (still mostly anonymous) accusers know that they have support. People like Margaret Atwood and Blue Rodeo’s Glenn Milchem have signed a rapidly expanding petition to express that support. It is clear that in the face of Ghomeshi’s continued use of intimidation, the women who are speaking out against him need to know that we will not let them be victimized again.
Have you been following the Jian Ghomeshi case? I’d love to hear your observations. And if you’d like to sign the petition, here is the link.