Jian Ghomeshi trial: Day 5

The prosecution will call its final witness in former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi's sexual assault trial today.

  • And we're back -- court is now in session.

    Henein has begun her cross-examination of the third complainant in the case.
  • The complainant was in her early 30s when she went on a few dates with Ghomeshi in 2003.

    The woman agrees that she was not good friends with the former CBC broadcaster at the time. She acknowledges they were not "good friends" before they began dating. nor did she rely on him financially. She was supporting herself in the performing arts at the time.
  • Henein has just handed the witness her police statement, which she swore before police on Dec. 3, 2014.

    The witness says she heard about media reports surrounding Ghomeshi on Oct. 26, 2014.

    Henein confirms that the witness spoke with someone on Facebook about the allegations surrounding Ghomeshi. She said she did an interview with the Star and she said that she spoke extensively with DeCoutere, another complainant in the case.

    She agrees that she also spoke with a lawyer and had a phone conversation with a publicist.
  • Henein asks the woman if she remembers what she told the Crown this morning about why she waited until 2014 to come forward about the alleged sexual assault.

    She says does. This morning, she testified that she'd been concerned about the ramifications that going to the police could have for her family who work in the arts interview. She also said she was unfamiliar with the legal system.

    Henein then asks her to read her police statement in which she was asked a similar question.

    "I question myself about why I didn't do something before," Henein says, reading from the statement. "I don't really feel like there's anything to press charges against."
  • Henein asks whether the Star misquoted her, something the witness told police when she gave her statement on Dec. 3, 2014.

    The witness disputed in the statement -- and now today in court -- that she ever told the Star that Ghomeshi "attacked" her. She says she chose her words carefully and she did not use that particular word.

    In her statement, she told police that the Star likely chose the word "attacked" because it's more "aggressive and it sounds flowery."
  • Henein continues asking the witness questions about her interview with the Star.

    In the article, the Star says that Ghomeshi was "forcefully" kissing her. The witness said this morning -- and says now -- that the kissing was consensual. Henein asks why she told court that the kissing was consensual and it appears differently in the Star.

    The witness then says that the Star must have made a mistake.
  • Heinen continues to put previous statements in front of the witness, first the police statement on Dec. 3, 2014, then the story the Star ran about her allegations, and finally a conversation she had on Facebook with a friend or acquaintance.

    In this message, a friend tells the witness that she can help her with her memory. The friend writes to her to say that the witness was forced into kissing Ghomeshi.

    The witness didn't write back to the woman, either correcting her or dismissing that suggestion.
  • Henein has switched back the Star article, which quotes the witness saying Ghomeshi "groped" her after he bit her neck -- which she testified to this morning -- and that he then choked her -- again, which she testified to this morning. It was after the choking that the Star reported she was "groped."

    The witness says she does not believe she was groped.
  • Henein has reverted the police statement, presenting the witness with other inconsistencies between the police statement and her testimony.

    In that statement to police, the witness says she's not sure exactly whether she was choked with one hand or two, while this morning she definitively said it was two hands.
  • And yet more technical difficulties as the defence pulls up the video of the witness's statement.
  • Henein asks the witness whether she had reviewed her statement to police lately.

    The woman told the court she had it Tuesday -- without her lawyer present -- and then again this morning.
  • And we're taking yet another break in order to fix the sound system in the courtroom. The defence was unable to play the video of the Dec. 3, 2014, police statement and says that she'll be using numerous clips from it.

    Heinen has questioned each of the previously complainants extensively about any differences between the version of events they told police and what was said in the courtroom.
  • For those just checking in to the hearing, here are the events that led up to Jian Ghomeshi's sexual assault trial. 

    Allegations around Jian Ghomeshi surfaced in the media after the former CBC Radio host was fired from the public broadcaster on Oct. 24, 2014. Police issued a press conference within a week urging any complainants to come forward. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press) 


  • For a full recap of what we've heard in court so far, read through Mark Gollom's detailed piece below.

    A woman who claims Jian Ghomeshi squeezed her neck and covered her mouth so she couldn't breathe failed to disclose to police that she had a sexual encounter with the former CBC host soon after the alleged assault, court heard today. (David Donnelly/CBC)

     

  • We're back in court, the video of the Dec. 3, 2014 police statement is now up on the monitor.
  • So he went from kissing to grabbing your neck, the detective asks in the video.

    When he asks her to describe the sequence of events, she says she's not completely sure. She says she believes Ghomeshi was on the side of her and reached out for her neck.

    After she pulled out of his hold, the witness said that he put his hand over her mouth. The detective asks whether she was screaming or doing something else that would prompt Ghomeshi to cover her lips.

    "I, I don't know," she says in the video. "I just feel like it was a part of all of this. That, that whatever it is."
  • Henein has switched her line of questioning, asking now about the complainant's relationship with Lucy DeCoutere.

    They "first communicated" on Oct. 29, 2014 and Sept. 23, 2015 -- they exchanged more than 5,000 messages between then, Henein says. They have spoken on the phone as well, maybe once or twice, the witness says.

    The pair met once after the witness spoke to police. 
  • In one of the messages exchanged in December, the witness said you were going to put a piece of jewellery on her when she was going to have to testify. The witness said she remembered that, but that she did not give her jewelry. 

    "Well, f--k, you're... my hero," she said. And texts her to say that she's "leading the pack."

    Henein continues reading supportive messages between the two of them, in which they said they love one another and are proud of each other.
  • Henein asks the witness if she remember DeCoutere suggesting she speak to "our" publicist. 

    The lawyer then asks whether the witness remembers writing to DeCoutere and saying she spoke with the publicist and was almost convinced to do an interview with CBC, but wanted to speak with her counsel first before doing the interview and going to police. 

    Later in November 2014 -- before the witness went to police -- DeCoutere wrote a message to the complainant saying that the publicist loved her.
  • The police had been looking for a lawyer to help the complainant through the process, but in June 2015 she wrote to police saying that she would be using Gillian Tnasiw -- the same lawyer as DeCoutere. 

    DeCoutere had recommended her and the witness had met with the lawyer three times. 
  • Henein asks the witness "whether it's correct that [she] made an application for compensation" -- and the witness affirms that, but unfortunately it was difficult to hear through what civil process this happened. 

    The witness said, "Yes, for therapy."


  • The witness says that she was watching the Ghomeshi coverage between October 24, 2014, and when she went to police on Dec. 3, 2014. 

    But she said she did not talk about details or allegations with Lucy. 

    "We were very careful," the witness says.
  • Henein describes the first meeting between DeCoutere and Henein in October 2014.

    The lawyer reads from the woman's police statement, which says that Ghomeshi's name came up at the event and the two women talked about their alleged experiences. But she says they did not go into detail.

    Henein then says that there was a text message between the two women in November 2014. In the message from the complainant to DeCoutere she writes: "He choked me, smothered me, but never hit."

    Henein says that message would contradict the witness's answer to the Crown earlier this morning, in which she said she did not talk about her specific allegations with DeCoutere. 

    The witness disagrees at first, saying that they did not go into many details. But then says that perhaps it sounds as though she did, although she did not think that message counted as going into significant detail. 

    Henein continues asking about whether she recalls offering updates about her case.

  • Henein's now asking about a conversation DeCoutere and the witness began talking about the fact that the defence has requested any and all messages between the pair. 
  • DeCoutere wrote to the third complainant after one of Ghomeshi's bail hearings, saying that she hoped it would encourage others to report allegations.

    "This will influence people who were afraid to come forward will come forward now," DeCoutere said. "I think they see that his goose is cooked and they want to make sure ... it's well done."
  • Henein now asks the witness if she remembers "checking in" with DeCoutere whenever she met with the Crown. 

    The witness replies that she doesn't have a specific memory about that. 

    So, Henein approaches the witness box, a piece of paper with the messages between the two complainants in hand.

    Henein draws the witness to specific messages, in which the woman went into detail about how her meetings went with the prosecution.
  • Henein then begins reading a message from the complainant to DeCoutere in which she said she hoped that he was getting fat, losing his hair, developing a facial tic and peeing in his bed.

    "Yup," she said. 
  • The witness has some back issues so we're taking a quick break for her to stretch.
  • For those unfamiliar with the court process, witnesses are not supposed to discuss their statements or allegations before going to trial.
  • As the media and the public are allowed back into the courtroom, Ghomeshi is standing near the first row of seats talking to his mother and sister and another man.

    As more people shuffle in, the accused turns and walks back to his seat.
  • We've returned to court.

    Henein's now asking about "the game-changer," the realization that Ghomeshi was "sick... and was trying to manipulate me and isolate me" after he began insulting the complainant's best friend and telling her that he was controlling.

    "It was a combination of things," the witness said. "But that was the straw that broke the camel's back." she said.
  • Henein questions why the insulting of the complainant's friend, is what led the witness to cut things off with Ghomeshi. To tell him "to lose [her] number" and that he "was f--king crazy."

    And why she didn't say that to Ghomeshi when he allegedly tried to choke her and smother her in the park.
  • Henein then says that the witness actually invited the accused to another event.

    The accused said it was just one email, one she found recently while going through her emails.

    Henein stops the line of questioning and shifts gears, asking instead when and why the witness was looking at her correspondence with Ghomeshi.

    The witness says that was a few days ago -- and Henein interrupts to ask what prompted that decision.

    "Curiosity," the witness replies.

    "Come on now," Henein said.

    "Seriously," she said. "I found one email."

    That email was a "mass blast" sent to all of the people in her address book, inviting them to a family member's show.
  • Henein now asks whether the witness remembers two other instances when she sent Ghomeshi invitations to other events.

    She didn't remember one instance, one of which was to a family member's bachelor party.

    In another instance, the email was another "mass blast" to her industry contacts while she was managing a performing artist and it included Ghomeshi.
  • Ghomeshi responds to one of the emails, saying that he will try to be there.

    The witness says that in a "personal way" she always tried to keep her distance from Ghomeshi after the alleged incident -- and that the invitations she sent to events were in a professional capacity.

    "I would include everybody that I thought could help [those I was managing] to help their careers."

    And to help yours? Henein asks.

    "Nope," the witness responds.
  • Henein then asks about an email sent Feb. 26, 2004, in which the complainant asks Ghomeshi to help her "plug an event."

    She then asks whether Ghomeshi would like to get a drink sometime, which she says she likely said she threw in "to add a little more" to the invitation.
  • Ghomeshi's sitting, looking at his lawyer, holding his chin and cheek in his hand.
  • Henein has begun asking about the different dates the woman went on a Ghomeshi, including a dinner on the Danforth, the time they were kissing in the park and the alleged sexual assault happened, another dinner and a party.
  • Now Henein reminds the witness of a conversation she had via email with DeCoutere, in which the lawyer says the witness said she was worried about what the defence might have as evidence.

    "I wanted to know what they know," she said. "Like on TV, they can go into cell phones, email... and dig."

    DeCoutere: "How much can they dig," she said.

    Witness: "They have to put in an application for it," she said. The woman then says that any application for communication and financial records would have to be disclosed to her -- and that she could sit with a court-appointed lawyer and go over what could, and could not, be shown.
  • Henein has switched back to the police statement -- and what she told police about her first date with Ghomeshi at a dinner on the Danforth.

    After that date, she told police "we went out in public a couple of times after that, we were in a bar on King Street."

    Henein brings up the witness's allegation that Ghomeshi told a New York writer that they were not seeing other -- just having sex.

    It's a detail the witness said stuck out in her mind, because it was so off-putting.
  • Henein then reiterates the "details" that the witness remembered and gave to police: including the dinner at King Street at the bar, that she didn't like the way he spoke to her there, about the fight they had when leaving a party about her friend.

    The lawyer then asks about the fact that the witness had a chance on Tuesday to review her statement --- and that was because she was sitting outside the court getting ready to testify.

    After that, she didn't change anything.

    But then on Thursday, she knew DeCoutere was being cross-examined and then her lawyer contacted police.
  • So, until Friday, you didn't feel the need to give police "the detail" that Ghomeshi went home with her and that she fondled his genitals.
  • Henein asks why the witness told police that she only wanted to be in public with Ghomeshi after the alleged assault -- and not about going home.

    She says allowing him to go home with her "was a misjudgment and one that a lot of women make."

    Henein says that's not what she's asking, she says she was asking why she didn't tell police about Ghomeshi coming home with her.

    "So that was a lie," the lawyer says of the statement.

    "Yup," the witness said.
  • Henein then says that the police clearly asked her about the timeline of events, clarifying with her what her actions were.

    "And you don't say that there 'was this other thing,'" she says.

    Then Henein says there are clear examples of the witness correcting the detective as he repeats the timeline of events in which he gets in confused.

    And yet, the witness never corrected him about going home together, Henein says.
  • Henein then reads from the Dec. 3, 2014, statement to police in which the detective asks the witness whether she had any sexual conversations with Ghomeshi.

    The witness says there were no conversations about sex, none at all.

    "So he magically ends up in your home and his penis ends up in your hand?" Henein says. "There was no sexual conversations at all?"

    Henein then asks the witness why, when police asked her about having sex with Ghomeshi, she did not mention the fondling.

    The witness replies: "It was not sex," she said. "I'm meaning there wasn't intercourse."
  • Henein then says that in January 2015 the witness wrote to police about the fact that Ghomeshi had automatic locks on his car doors and used them, but didn't tell them about another "detail," a sexual encounter they had at her home.

    You referred to it as "the little thing" you forgot to tell police, Henein says, quoting from the most recent statement.

    "You considered this a little thing?" the lawyer asks.

    The witness says that if you read through all her testimony you'll see that she has a habit of qualifying words with "little" and that you'll find "little" scattered throughout her testimony.
  • Henein then says that she thinks the witness only told police about the sexual encounter, because she knew she would be "caught out."

    "The thing you omitted was that you lied to police under oath," Henein says.

    Henein wraps up her cross-examination of the witness -- and Crown attorney Michael Callaghan has begun his redirection.
  • Callaghan: "Why is that you became such close friends with Lucy?"

    Henein objects and says it's not a relevant question.

    But Callaghan says that the defence asked, at length, about their relationship and submits it's a relevant question.

    Judge William Horkins allows it.
  • The witness says that she and DeCoutere had a relationship, because they had a common bond after learning that they each knew Ghomeshi, that they connected instantly outside of that as well.

    They became a support system for one another, she says, as they navigated a difficult process.
  • The Crown presents the witness with the email that she sent to Ghomeshi about a gig and she confirms that it was clearly sent to a large number of people, all in the music and arts industries.

    When Ghomeshi wrote to her, she said she doesn't believe that she wrote back.
  • The Crown has finished his re-direction.
  • Although the prosecution said that today's complainant would be his last witness, he he now wants to call one more witness.

    The Crown "likes to reassess its case" as the evidence unfolds, Callaghan told the court.


    But that witness is in Nova Scotia and there's a storm brewing there -- and no one can fly in tomorrow because of the bad weather.

    Although the Crown had asked to adjourn the case until Wednesday so that the witness can testify in person -- or possibly over Skype -- the defence says there's a legal argument about whether or not the witness should be allowed to testify.

    We'll learn that argument tomorrow morning.

    Court's closed for the day.
  • Sketch artist Pam Davies captured the courtroom in her rendering below. The complainant's face has been obscured to protect her identity.

    Jian Ghomeshi, left looks on as, far right, Crown attorney Michael Callaghan questions his third witness at the former broadcaster's sexual assault trial Monday. (Pam Davies)
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