The Citizenship Initiative political party has announced that it has asked its co-founder Ruel Johnson to step back from active duties with the party following allegations of verbal, physical and sexual abuse made against him.
Johnson who currently serves as an Editor for the Kaieteur News and is a former Government Cultural Advisor has been denying the serious allegations that have been made against him by two of his ex-girlfriends.
In a statement, TCI said multiple posts about the alleged acts of violence, sexual and verbal abuse has been brought to the party’s attention.
The party said it takes the allegations seriously, triggering its decision to ask Johnson to step back from active duties with the party while the allegations are being probed.
“TCI does not condone gender-based violence in any format and treats all accusations with the seriousness they should be accorded”, the party said in its statement.
In an explosive post on Facebook, one of Johnson’s ex-girlfriends detailed her relationship with him which started off as a friendship while she was 16 and he was 32.
According to the young woman who is now in her 20’s, her relationship with Johnson lasted for four years until she was 20.
She said during those years, she was subjected to verbal, emotional and mental abuse and the alleged abuse also became physical.
“He would shout, curse. He would punch walls, slam tables, and use his body weight and size to intimidate me into small corners of myself. One night, on another one of his drunken paranoid benders, he got physical with me. He would lift me up and literally throw me out of his apartment. I knew then I had to leave because things were on a continuous downward slope. I knew that would not be the last time he would get physical if I stayed”, the young woman recalled.
She said she first met Johnson at a poetry event as she was a poetry writer at the time and he offered to assist her with bettering her craft. She stated that all the while she believes she was being groomed to be with him.
“He would use the pretense of the writing mentor to gain access to me and would coerce me through a steady stream of alcohol (I rarely ever drank) and manipulation. Guidance would be given on my work yes but he would always find some way to make sexual comments and innuendos. There was always some sexual joke to be made, some secret, some lingering look and touch”, she wrote.
In response to the post, Johnson wrote on Facebook that the young woman’s accusations and recollection of their relationship was “deliberately short on specifics and a great deal of glossing over of fact”
“What was initially a brief and stupid fling was ended by me on the basis of her age – there was no grooming, and certainly no prior relationship. There was no steady stream of alcohol because at the time I could not afford any but that was a very deliberate fiction”, he stated.
He also added that “over the years, we would occasionally reengage until we entered a full and open relationship as she highlighted. It was toxic and a lot of fighting from a sh&tload of gaslighting on her part and yes, a great deal of anger and suspicion on mine”.
He described his accuser’s account as “a very clever mixture of truth and deliberate lies.”
But within the space of hours, another ex-girlfriend of Johnson appeared with a post of her own on social media. The young woman who is a German national who once lived in Guyana said she believes the account of Johnson’s first accuser and that she too had faced verbal and emotional abuse from him.
She wrote that at one point during their relationship, “I was suffering from a burn-out due to a stressful finishing phase of my PhD dissertation, a phase in which I was completely let down by him, the details of which shall not be discussed here on Facebook. Also, my father was dying of cancer, adding to my stress and depression. He used this moment of vulnerability to exert power, control me, abuse me verbally, and make himself feel in charge, spit at me. I was called a “miserable c*nt” so many times that in the end it didn’t even hurt any more”.
Johnson has not responded to the claims of his second accuser.
News Source understands that both women had previously confided in their friends the alleged abuse they face during their relationship with Johnson.
Johnson has reportedly sought legal advice on the matter and the accusations against him.