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Just For Laughs founder resigns over sexual assault and harassment allegations

(Photo: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)

After multiple investigations exposed Harvey Weinstein’s decades-long history of sexual assault and harassment, folks in and out of the entertainment industry noted that the disgusting revelations were likely just the tip of the abuse iceberg. Following reports that former Amazon exec Roy Price harassed a TV producer, The Star now reports that several women have come forward with allegations against Gilbert Rozon, founder of Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival. 

Le DeVoir shared the accounts of several accusers, which go as far back as 1990, when actress Salomé Corbo claims an “intoxicated Rozon” put his hand in her underwear and “digitally penetrated her,” and are as recent as June 2016 when Geneviève Allard, an entrepreneur, says Rozon had sex with her against her will. There are other allegations, including claims that Rozon commented on women’s bodies during business meetings and slapped others on the butt.


Allard has filed a complaint with police, but this wouldn’t be Rozon’s first brush with the law. The festival founder also pled guilty to fondling a 19-year-old woman in 1998. Back then, Rozon claimed he’d gone into therapy to reflect on abuse of power (right), and was sentenced to just a year’s probation and a $1,100 fine. That slap on the wrist is disturbing enough, but The Star also notes that, according to the CBC, Rozon was “granted an unconditional discharge after a judge ruled that having a criminal record for sexual assault might prevent Rozon from travelling internationally, affect his business and hamper Montreal’s economy.” Rozon was also charged with “unlawful confinement involving a 31-year-old woman,” but Montreal police dropped the charges due to insufficient evidence.

In the face of these allegations, Rozon announced via Facebook yesterday that he’s stepping away from Just For Laughs, which is one of Montreal’s (and the comedy world at large) premier events.

Wednesday was full of sexual predator scoops in Quebec, as allegations were also brought against TV host and producer Eric Salvail, who reportedly engaged in “inappropriate sexual behavior.” Salvail has been suspended from his job.


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