Andray Domise, a Maclean’s magazine columnist, former host of Canadaland, and darling of the progressive scene in Toronto, has been arrested and charged with three counts of assault on a former domestic partner.
The 36-year-old is accused of assaulting his former live-in partner, Toronto photographer Chantal Denne, three times between March and September 2015. Domise, who ran against former mayor Rob Ford during the 2014 municipal election for a city council seat in Ward 2, was arrested in February after Denne reported abuse, including allegations that he choked and shoved her. Domise, who lived with Denne for about 18 months beginning in August 2014, is also facing a mischeif charge for allegedly damaging his ex-partner’s cell phone.
In response, Domise, who practices Muay Thai, says “none of it happened” and has played the victim, claiming that Denne abused him physically and emotionally. His account has not been corroborated by media or by the police. With regard to the damaged phone, Domise told the National Post:
“I’ll admit that wasn’t the way to deal with it, but I wasn’t thinking rationally or logically. All I could think was get this phone out of my face and stop tormenting me.”
Domise’s lawyer Mitchell Worsoff, likewise, has painted his client as a victim and tried to discredit Denne in a typically sexist way, painting her as dishonest and untrustworthy:
“Mr. Domise is an outstanding individual and he’s an intelligent and responsible member of our community,” Worsoff told the Toronto Star. “Similarly to many others who find themselves accused of this type of offence, (he is) the subject of falsities and exaggerations.”
Domise is known to have harassed and attacked feminists online for years, particularly those who speak out against male violence, misogyny, pornography, objectification, and the sex industry.
Despite this, the Globe and Mail named Domise one of its “16 Torontonians to Watch in 2016″ and he has continued to be widely celebrated, promoted, and supported by numerous feminists and leftists in Toronto.
The exception to this rule may be Canadaland — Domise parted ways with the company shortly after the charges were laid. Domise says he left his position as co-host of Canadaland: Commons, which he hosted alongside Desmond Cole, voluntarily. Canadaland publisher Jesse Brown declined to comment as to why Domise is no longer hosting the podcast, but told the Toronto Star:
“As for the charges, I think we need to take it very seriously when a woman comes forward. The legal system can be very hard on accusers and I hope that the process is fair for both accuser and accused.”
The National Post reports that “A spokesperson for Rogers, the parent company of Maclean’s, said the company became aware of the charges earlier this month, and that Domise will not be contributing to the magazine or its website this week.” Andrea Goldstein, senior director of communications at Rogers Media, said:
“Rogers has zero tolerance for this type of behaviour. The situation is before the courts, and while we won’t comment further at this time, we are hopeful this will bring about a quick resolution.”
Domise is scheduled to appear in Ontario Superior Court on November 25, 2016.