Jian Ghomeshi trial: Day 4

Defence lawyer Marie Henein will continue her cross-examination of actress Lucy DeCoutere in Jian Ghomeshi's sexual assault trial after ending Thursday's proceedings on a cliffhanger.


    Jian Ghomeshi, 48, arrived at Old City Hall this morning about an hour before court was to begin on the fourth day of his sexual assault trial. (David Donnelly/CBC) 

    We're watching DeCoutere's statement to police on Nov. 6, 2014, in which she tells police about the emails she says she and Ghomeshi shared around the time they met and before the alleged assault.

    "It was, as far as I was concerned, playful chat," she said. "It does range from, 'How was your day, to ridiculous stuff.'"

    Police asked her if she had tried to look for her emails and she said she had, because she "knew that he had them" but that she couldn't get into her old hotmail account. 

    Like DeCoutere told the court yesterday, she told police that the emails included some discussion about "ridiculous" sexual positions as a joke and questions about one another.
    Henein now asks whether DeCoutere remembers sending an email to another complainant, in which she describes her incredible lawyer whose specialty is dealing with sexual assault cases.

    So Henein says that this email is proof that DeCoutere had an experienced lawyer who could explain the court process and teach her, a novice, about what to expect in court. 

    DeCoutere says that her lawyer prepared her, but that they did not talk about the specific processes.

    Henein asks DeCoutere if she will admit that it "was not true" that she did not understand the process, because she had an experienced lawyer to advise her. 

    DeCoutere says that she will stick by what she said earlier in saying that she did not understand the process because she had never before experienced it.
    This line of questioning is related to why DeCoutere did not disclose all of the details to police until Thursday before she testified, including sending Ghomeshi flowers and the fact that they spoke on the phone a couple of times after she returned to Halifax following the weekend the alleged assault happened in July 2003.
    Henein has begun asking DeCoutere about an email she sent to Ghomeshi on Sept. 23, 2003, in which she says she "was bummed" about some of the things happening at work on the Trailer Park Boys. 

    Henein asks why she would send an email to Ghomeshi looking to commiserate about work after the alleged assault.
    Heinen begins reading from another email, one in which DeCoutere asks Ghomeshi about meeting up for lunch before the Geminis if she can get to Toronto. 

    She asks why she would want to spend time with him. 

    "It would be so that actually seeing him at the Geminis ... in a social setting is something that would definitely be an innocuous way to re-encounter someone the last time I saw him.

    "It was inevitable that I was going to re-encounter him, but this way it was on my terms."
    Henein then reads from an email sent on Oct. 17, 2003, in which DeCoutere talks about how "it was great" to see him on Play

    DeCoutere writes in the email about seeing Play with her friend. And the email then continues with the line: 

    "Sunday in my brain, has a slot all for you."

    While DeCoutere says that she thinks that was a reference to her planning to watch the show when it aired, but Henein says the show did not air on Sundays. And the lawyer said that it sounds as thought DeCoutere is trying to arrange another meeting with him.

    DeCoutere says that if that were the case, it would likely be because she had conflicted feelings and Ghomeshi and the violence and that she "was trying to humanize" the situation.
    A brief moment of levity in the court after Henein asks DeCoutere if she remembers writing to Ghomeshi after the Gillers.

    "I have a feeling there's an exhibit you're going to show me," the witness deadpans. 

    Laughter erupts from most of those sitting in the gallery.
    Henein begins reading from an email that DeCoutere sent on Oct. 25, 2003, to Ghomeshi after the Geminis. 

    In the subject line she says, "Nice to see you Monday."

    She talks about the work she's been doing, jokes about the people she bumped into at the Geminis and says people "are dangling carrots" in front of her wanting her to stay in Halifax -- and others are suggesting she has better opportunities in Toronto. She's debating about whether to "make jump to the Big Smoke.

    "Really, Jian, any advice you can offer would be of huge [help] at this point," she continues in the email. 

    "Torn between two lovers."

    Ghomeshi writes back to her: "You've got a lot of talent, you should move to the Big Smoke."

    Henein now reads from another email, in which DeCoutere writes that she's inviting him "to play with me so you have fair warning."

    DeCoutere says that she means that in a joking, platonic way -- and it's something she would write to other acquaintances, too, as a joke. 


    When Henein begins asking why DeCoutere would reach out several times to Ghomeshi to spend time together, the witness responds that she wanted to see him on her terms so that she would be comfortable.

    Henein now asks about the weekend in Banff in 2004, the second industry conference they both happened to be at. DeCoutere had said earlier that she spent time with Ghomeshi there because she didn't want him to be lonely.

    "You did not hang out with him because you are such a loving and compassionate soul," Henein says. 

    And then she submits this email sent by DeCoutere on May 19, 2004, before the weekend.

    Subject: altitude sickness

    "How busy are you gonna being banff? I wanna play woth you. iam in the midst of planning my days... of course it'll be a bit hairy but wanna go for a hike? Pims on the terrace? chance encounter in the broom closet? 

    you dig coldplay... there is a sweet thing on their site you should check out if you haven't already

    lucee

    Henein takes off her glasses after reading the email and looks at DeCoutere.

    "That's not making him comfortable, that's  you doing your best to make sure you spend time together," Henein says.
    Henein then reads Ghomeshi's response, which says that he might be busy with work but they might see each other.

    DeCoutere wrote again on May 26, 2004. 

    "life is good.
    shooting a joel plaskett show friday
    loving my new computer, which makes writing to you lovelier.
    ... "I might stalk you a little bit" 

    (Some of this email has not been included in this post, only because the exhibit has been taken off screen.)
    Another email from DeCoutere before Banff.

    June 11, 2004

    Subject: you're in big trouble

    if i don't get to hang with you while we are in banff i'm gonna beat the crap out of you
    i am booked pretty solidly for the days but maybe dinner? or perhaps i could tap you on the shoulder for breakfast?


    DeCoutere says that "reading this now, this is terrible... because it sounds like I'm trying to proposition him" but I had no intention of having intimacy with him. 

    She says she was joking in the email -- and that she was trying to make herself feel comfortable.
    Henein then asks about what she told the police. 

    "You didn't tell the police about this, did you?"

    Henein then walks up and hands DeCoutere a picture. 

    DeCoutere: Oh. 

    Henein says that DeCoutere then sent Ghomeshi a picture of the two of them singing karaoke together at Banff.
    "Mr. Ghomeshi assaulted me and afterwards I tried to neutralize it and make it a friendship."

    "I don't know what to tell you... we shared email where I invited my friend Mr. Ghomeshi to spend time together, I sent him photographs."

    DeCoutere says that it's not uncommon for victims of sexual assault to reach out to their alleged attackers. 

    Henein says that she "understands your theory" that you might reach out to someone "that you'd had one date with, that you didn't depend on financially" and that you didn't work with. 

    "I understand your theory."
    At second Geminis

    Oct. 29, 2004

    Subject: Geminis

    "Oh, G.
    How's it all sitting with you these days. Feels like a long time since my last update from you. Hope you're well. Are you gonna party like a rock star at the G show this year? I am working on a show which wraps on the 10th, gonna pack up all my stuff and come to T.O. for a few days. Then going to Europe) to party like a Euro trash rock star then back to Toronto.... "

    The email continue with her saying she'd like to see him.

    Ghomeshi responds saying he might be busy, but would like to see her if he could.

    "This was not an adversarial relationship that Mr. Ghomeshi and I had, because I worked to neutralize" the relationship. 


    DeCoutere said that she felt "guilt" about having negative feelings toward someone and tried to turn that into a friendship instead.
    Another email, Heinen submits from DeCoutere: 

    Nov. 30, 2004

    subject: hey

    I move into my new flat on Bathurst on Jan. 7th when I get back from Europe. And I promise to get a cell phone. 
    Do you know yet if you are going to be at the Geminis
    L to the Juicy
    Another email, exhibit 25

    May 3, 2005

    Last night was fun and everything, but I am not sure i would actually rock that place under ordinary circumstances.
    after you left I bumped into another ex-pat from NS who works at the toronto star. 
    all in all a great night

    if you want to hang out give me a shout. my week is filling up but i'll just bet we can work something out. 

    peace
    lucy 

    (She includes phone number.)
    Henein asks why DeCoutere continued to pursue a relationship with Ghomeshi, despite saying otherwise to police. 

    DeCoutere says that she it was a platonic relationship, a friendship. She meant that she had no interest in a romantic relationship.
    Another email sent on May 9, 2005 from DeCoutere, which suggests the two meet up at an event where DeCoutere says there are mutual friends. 

    "At this point, he's just a person I spend time with," DeCoutere says, saying the choking/slapping is less central in her mind at this point, nearly two years later.

    "At this point, he's just a person you actively try to spend time with," Henein responds.


    Another email:

    subject: lucy's new deets
    November 27, 2005

    Planning to stay indefinitely.
    The east is the place to be. For me, for now at least.
    Lots of trees and, since I am not a native 'torontoer', I still find all the squirrels charming.
    So, lemme know when you want to hook up. I am doing stuff, but would happily use you as a procrastination technique. 

    (She then includes her phone number.)
    Another email

    Feb. 16, 2004

    Subject: dreamin'

    Had a really great dream the other nite
    you were with me in toronto 
    wanna hear about it?

    Lucy DeCoutere
    DeCoutere says, "respectfully ma'am, I have dreams about all my friends."

    It doesn't mean "I'm dreaming about me and Jian riding unicorns" somewhere.
    Another email from DeCoutere:

    April 6, 2004

    Subject: check, check, 1, 2, 3

    Greetings, earthling.
    You know, I think about you sometimes and as usual wonder how you are.

    [...]

    Will you lemme know how you are> If there is an itch you need... um.. scratching?

    Peace, biznatch 
    On Oct. 19, 2005, DeCoutere sent Ghomeshi another email.

    In this, she included an attachment of her holding a bottle of beer, which Henein describes as her "fellating a bottle of beer."

    Henein says that DeCoutere told the court, police "and the country" that she had no interest in a sexual relationship with the former broadcaster, but then sent a sexualized photo. 

    "My intent was never to tantalize him," she said. She said she said the photo to a number of friends as well, it was a portrait by a friend.
    Henein responds by reading from the email, saying DeCoutere lied to his Honour in saying that she "never sent [Ghomeshi] any sexual emails" and that she never wanted a romantic relationship with him. 

    DeCoutere says that she was conflicted and likely didn't want a romantic relationship after that weekend. 

    This does, however, conflict with some of the witness's earlier testimony in which she said she did not have a romantic interest in him after leaving his home.
    "You wanted the next day, after thinking about it, that you wanted to f--k his brains out," Henein says. "The thing that you remembered, that you always remembered was that you wanted to [have sex with him] the very next day."

    DeCoutere said she has no memory of writing this, but said that it doesn't mean that the assault didn't happen and that she was conflicted. 
    Henein then enters a "love letter" which she says DeCoutere wrote. DeCoutere accepts that it's her handwriting. 

    You never told the police or the court about the letter, Henein says.

    "No, I didn't remember it," she said.

    The letter is written on July 9, 2003, five days after the alleged assault. 

    "It's long," DeCoutere says, picking it up.

    In the letter, written in cursive in blue pen, DeCoutere writes about the weekend they shared.

    She writes that she had "a few regrets from this past weekend" that she wants to clear up. She wants to clear up some of Ghomeshi's questions about the weekend saying she was "too chickenshit" to answer them initially.

    She writes about how she felt a spark with him right away at Banff and that he was "too sparkling" and she could see his face everywhere.

    At the BBQ in Banff, she saw that he was surrounded by other women and wasn't sure that she wanted to be with someone who obviously had a string of women around him. 

    She writes to him saying that she came to Toronto expressly to see him.

    "We hooked up for dinner and you totally knocked me out," she said. "Either because you were reading my mind."

    The letter then makes references to Ghomeshi's comment about wanting to go home, lie down and hold each other as they listened to music.  In the letter, she says "really, what on Earth could be better than lying with you listening to music and having peace."

    She then writes that she had a wonderful weekend about him and liked seeing him become more relaxed in his presence. 

    "I am sad we didn't spend the night together, I could have been more open with you than on pen and paper."

    Henein stops reading the letter and asks DeCoutere to read the last line.

    "I love your hands.
    Lucy," DeCoutere reads. 

    "It never happened," Henein says immediately. "It never happened."


    In her police statement, DeCoutere told police that she could "still feel" Ghomeshi's hands on her throat.

    She repeated a similar statement in court and said she might always feel them.
    Henein: You never told police that "you liked his hands" did you? Or that, the next day, you "wanted to f--k him?" 
    Court adjourns until 2:15 p.m.
    We're going to request the emails, photo and the letter entered as exhibits. Once we receive them, we'll include them in this live blog.

    Lucy DeCoutere, actress and RCAF captain, spent the morning under cross-examination, reading emails she sent to Ghomeshi after the alleged assault, some of which she said she had no memory of at all. (Getty Images) 

    Court will be starting up again in a few moments. The CBC has been able to obtain copies of some of the emails that were read in court this morning and entered as evidence. 

    I'll add them individually as we continue to receive them from court services. 
    Back in court. Crown prosecutor Corie Langdon has begun her re-direction of Lucy DeCoutere.

    She's asking if DeCoutere can explain the letter, in her own words, and why she would have written it. 

    CBC has not yet obtained a copy of the letter to include in this live blog.
    DeCoutere says the letter explains her initial attraction to Ghomeshi when she first met him in Banff in 2003.

    The rest of the letter then explains her aloofness that weekend and "talking about my romantic missteps" is something. 

    "There were things about Mr. Ghomeshi that I liked, that were funny and cool... I also feel like this letter has an apologetic tone like I've done something wrong and there's a tone to it that's almost placating somebody, which is definitely symptomatic of the sort of person I was when I was younger and to a degree I am now."
    "There's no untruth in this letter," she says. "It's very candid. And the last line in it was me pointing [to his hands] the very things he used to hurt me.

    "It's a magnifying laugh, I don't know... The things you used to hurt me I could learn to love," she says. "So this and any other... communications change nothing."

    Langdon says she has no other questions.
    Crown attorney Michael Callaghan says he had intended to call one more witness today, but that he needs to provide the defence with more disclosure.

    He says there will only be one more witness he'll call. 

    The trial has adjourned until Monday.
    Media are waiting to see if DeCoutere or her lawyer are planning to make a statement.

    Media waiting outside court at #Ghomeshi trial for Lucy DeCoutere and her lawyer to make a statement. http://pbs.twimg.com/media/Caefu9UWcAAmBEk.jpg

    From left to right: Jian Ghomeshi and Judge William Horkins look on as, far right, lawyer Marie Henein reads from a letter complainant Lucy DeCoutere sent to the accused in the days following the alleged sexual assault. (Pam Davies)

    This is a portion of what defence lawyer Marie Henein called a "love letter" sent from Lucy DeCoutere to Jian Ghomeshi five days after the assault. The last line reads: I love your hands. The entire letter was submitted as evidence the court.

    Ghomeshi and his lawyers have left the courthouse for the day.
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