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Toronto Star columnist gets dragged by blaming woman for boyfriend's death threats

A certain Toronto Star writer is getting a bunch of pushback for a recently published advice column that partially blames a woman for her boyfriend's death threats.

Ellie Tesher, of the Ask Ellie column, is getting dragged all over social media right now for the response she's given a woman that claims her boyfriend has never forgiven her infidelity and has threatened to kill her multiple times.

"My partner has said he'll never forgive me for my infidelity. He's repeatedly told me that he hates me, and has threatened to kill me multiple times. He even pointed a gun towards my head and threatened to shoot. Is this anger warranted because of my cheating," reads the beginning of the woman's letter to Ellie.

"I'd been cheating throughout the entire course of the relationship until I got caught. I've since apologized several times for lying and cheating. However, he continues with murderous behaviour towards me. What more can I do to stop his threats, besides apologizing?”

The column appeared online some hours ago and has since been "updated" by The Star for "inappropriately suggesting the letter-write shared the blame for her abuse."

But as with everything that gets shared on the interweb, nothing can fully be erased. Thus, a number of screenshots of the original column have been shared on social media.

The original response directed the writer to report the threats to police and take precautions to remain safe, but then took a more victim-blaming turn.

"Meanwhile, your own careless cheating throughout what you call 'a relationship' was deplorable, and led to this frightening situation," read the removed response.

"Wherever you got the idea that you could play loose and careless with a relationship 'partner's' pride and emotions, recognize the danger in which you've placed yourself."

The column appeared on a number of Torstar owned websites as well like the Waterloo Chronicle. 

Editors have since scrubbed the article of these particularly terrible paragraphs but seem to have forgotten "Ellie's tip of the day", which still appears on the column.

"Never trifle with a partner's pride and certain anger over cheating. Especially if they have a ready weapon," it reads.

The new column repeatedly tells the woman to seek police attention, file a report and to ask for police help and advice. 

But on Ellie's own website, her original piece is still up without any edits or removals. 

In just the last hour, many have called for Tesher's firing and subsequent apology. Others believe that the column was allowed to be published and missed crucial copyediting stages due to lack of resources.

In May, it was announced that Tesher's daughter Lisi would co-write the advice column with her. This particular column has Ellie's byline but, a note at the end of the story reads "Ellie Tesher and Lisi Tesher are advice columnists for the Star and based in Toronto."

It is unknown if this specific column was written by both Tesher's or just Ellie. 

Either way, it's never a good idea or look to blame someone's behaviour (even if they are cheating) as a reasonable response to murder threats.

In Canada, violent deaths against woman dramatically increased during the last two years. According to the Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses, 58 femicides occurred between Nov. 2020 and Nov. 2021 in Ontario. 

Lead photo by

Ellie Advice

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