Radio host accused of 'rough sex' drops lawsuit against Canada public broadcaster

OTTAWA (AFP) - A top radio host accused of sexual violence has withdrawn his C$55 million (S$63.5 million) lawsuit against Canada's public broadcaster for wrongful dismissal, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said on Tuesday.

The CBC fired syndicated radio host Jian Ghomeshi last month after several women came forward with allegations of sexual abuse.

Ghomeshi had argued that any sex was consensual "rough sex" of the kind found in erotic romance novels such as the best-seller 50 Shades Of Grey. But CBC head of English programming Heather Conway characterised the allegations as "inflicting an injury on another human being".

CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson said the two sides have now reached a settlement and the lawsuit has been withdrawn. The deal must also be formalised by a court order, he added.

The terms of the agreement were not revealed.

The initial accusations had been made anonymously but since then, at least nine women have come forward with stories of being strangled or slapped by Ghomeshi, and Toronto police have launched a criminal investigation.

The case triggered an uproar in Canada, leading to an urgent public debate on sexual violence in society, as well as a rise in the number of complaints.

Two federal MPs were also suspended by their party over allegations they harassed fellow lawmakers, and a former Canadian deputy prime minister revealed that she had been raped when she was a budding politician years ago.