Quebec comedian Philippe Bond steps away from 'public life,' following sexual assault allegations

·3 min read
Philippe Bond, a prominent Quebec comedian, was accused of sexual assault by eight women in an article in French-language newspaper La Presse, Thursday. (Radio-Canada/Québécomm Télévision Inc. - image credit)
Philippe Bond, a prominent Quebec comedian, was accused of sexual assault by eight women in an article in French-language newspaper La Presse, Thursday. (Radio-Canada/Québécomm Télévision Inc. - image credit)

Quebec comedian and radio host Philippe Bond says he will remove himself from "public life," after an article in La Presse reported a string of sexual assault allegations from eight women.

The French-language digital newspaper detailed the allegations in an investigation published early Thursday morning. CBC/Radio-Canada was not able to verify the allegations.

Shortly after the article was published, Bond posted a statement on his Instagram account. He said he was "floored" by what he'd read in the story and that he didn't recognize himself in the accounts the story reported.

"Out of respect for my collaborators and my employers, with whom I've worked for years and because I want to avoid them having to answer an avalanche of questions from journalists, I am withdrawing from everything — as much from public life as from radio and live shows," Bond wrote.

He added that he was concerned by what he, his wife and children will have to face "because there is nothing more important to me than them."

Bond's website and Facebook page have been deactivated, and performances scheduled at the Alphonse-Desjardins theatre in Repentigny have been cancelled. Bond co-hosted the popular radio show C't'encore drôle on Radio Énergie in Montreal.

Three performances of his show Merci! were also scheduled to take place before the end of the year, but the show's promoter, Evenko, said Thursday afternoon that all of his performances are cancelled. Venues will be reaching out to ticket holders about refunds.

Bond graduated from the Montreal-based École nationale de l'humour in 2002. He got his start as a host on Radio Énergie in Hull. He has appeared at several comedy festivals in the province since then.

In May, Bond pleaded guilty to a charge of driving with a blood-alcohol level exceeding the legal limit.

Quebec Premier François Legault reacted to La Presse's reporting Thursday. He said he didn't want to comment on Bond's specific case, but called it worrisome.

"I invite all victims to come forward," Legault said. "There is no space for this [behaviour] in our society in 2022."

The premier also highlighted the existence of Quebec's newly created court specialized in crimes involving victims of domestic and sexual violence, which aims to make the judicial process easier and less intimidating for victims of such crimes.

Just For Laughs, the group that runs the hugely popular Montreal comedy festival, released a statement Thursday afternoon, saying it wanted to highlight the courage of the eight women who came forward with their allegations in the media report.

"We do not tolerate any behaviour of this kind and hope to never read about this kind of behaviour in our industry again," said Charles Décarie, JFL's president.

The founder of Just For Laughs, Gilbert Rozon, was accused of sexual assault in a wave of MeToo allegations but was acquitted of charges of rape and indecent assault in December 2020.

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