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Secret Life

Secret Life

It began as rumours. Whispers at dinner parties. Warnings about bad dates with a Canadian celebrity. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, superstar CBC broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi revealed his interest in "rough sex" in a long Facebook post, and a scandal of unprecedented scale descended on the radio host.

What the public did not know was that months before Ghomeshi's emotional post, Canadaland podcaster Jesse Brown and Toronto Star journalist Kevin Donovan were quietly pursuing serious allegations against him. In Secret Life, Donovan takes us inside the Star's investigation. Step by step, he explores the story as only he can: the media frenzy, his own personal and professional doubts, the women who came forward with stories about an alleged dark side of a national idol, and Ghomeshi's ignominious firing and dramatic criminal trial. Taking us behind the scenes, Donovan sheds light on the journalistic process and the complexity of gathering information about a highly sensitive matter from named and confidential sources, including those women who feared it was their word against a beloved public figure's.

Secret Life is a thought-provoking account of the landmark Ghomeshi exposé that sparked a nation-wide discussion on sexual assault, the cult of celebrity, and the politics of power and gender in the workplace.


Kevin Donovan is an investigative reporter and editor at the Toronto Star. A thirty-year veteran of the paper, he has won two Governor General's Awards (Michener) for public service journalism, three National Newspaper Awards, and three Canadian Association of Journalists Awards. He is also the author of ORNGE: The Star Investigation that Broke the Story

Donovan is a trusted and experienced investigative journalist who has grown both journalistically and personally through the writing of this book. In this book, he is, in some ways, the everyman, who grows in his understanding of the complexities of discussing sexual assault.



"A high point in the history of modern Canadian journalism." — The Walrus

"Donovan has produced a page-turner." — Publishers Weekly

260 pages
Pub date: October 4, 2016