“Three people have contacted us providing information that they have been victimized relating to these allegations,” Insp. Joanna Beaven-Desjardins told a Saturday morning news conference.
“Toronto Police Service sex crimes has now commenced an active investigation into these allegations,” Beaven-Desjardins said.
Publicist Andrea Grau confirmed Friday that one of the women who contacted police was Trailer Park Boys star Lucy DeCoutere.
Word of police involvement came hours after an announcement by the CBC on Friday that the emergence of “graphic” evidence that Ghomeshi had caused physical injury to a person prompted his firing last Sunday.
Ghomeshi has said he has engaged in rough sex, but that it was always consensual, and said he was fired from the CBC because of the risk that his sex life would become public “as a result of a campaign of false allegations.”
In a Facebook post Thursday, he said he plans to confront allegations “directly,” but said he won’t discuss “this matter” further with the media.
Beaven-Desjardins said police believe there may be more alleged victims and investigators are appealing to them, or anyone with information relating to the allegations, to contact investigators.
Investigators believe “a person or persons have viewed graphic evidence of physical injury to a woman,” she said.
“We are requesting the public to come forward with any video, photograph, social media chats relating to this investigation,” Beaven-Desjardins said.
Investigators have not yet contacted Ghomeshi for an interview, but “at some point in the investigation he will be invited to come in and speak to us,” she said.
Beaven-Desjardins said police are investigating allegations of “assault and sexual assault.”
DeCoutere, who also serves as a captain in the Royal Canadian Air Force, was the first woman who levelled allegations against Ghomeshi to speak on the record about her experience.
DeCoutere told the Toronto Star she first met Ghomeshi in 2003 at the Banff World Media Festival and later went on a date with him in Toronto. She alleges that when they returned to his home, he pressed her up against a wall, choked her and slapped her across the face several times.
None of the allegations from any of the women have been proven and neither Ghomeshi nor his lawyers immediately responded to word of a police investigation.
As many as nine women have come forward to media outlets, with accusations of assault and sexual assault, but until Friday none had approached police.
Ghomeshi, 47 has launched a $55-million lawsuit against the CBC for breach of confidence and defamation. He has also filed a grievance alleging dismissal without proper cause that damaged his reputation.
The CBC has hired an independent investigator to look at its handling of the situation after at least one former employee said she had complained about his behaviour to a union rep, who spoke to his executive producer, but nothing substantive was done.