The Ghomeshi trial: Day 2

During intense cross-examination from Jian Ghomeshi’s lawyer, the first complainant describes an email she sent to the accused as “bait.”

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Summary: The first complainant returned to the stand. Jian Ghomeshi’s lawyer Marie Henein wrapped up her cross-examination by introducing two emails that the witness sent Ghomeshi in 2004, a year after she said the second assault took place. The second email included a photo of the witness in a bikini.

The big moment: Henein reminded the complainant of her testimony yesterday: that she vaguely recalled writing an “angry email” to Ghomeshi years after the alleged assault, but that the witness couldn’t remember if she sent it. In media and police interviews, the complainant said hearing Ghomeshi’s voice and seeing him on television “re-traumatized her,” so she never contacted him after the incident at his home. Henein presented the witness with an email she sent to Ghomeshi at 3:03 am on January 16, 2004. The email is friendly, Henein noted, punctuated with exclamation points and containing both compliments about his career and her contact information. “Now you’re inviting the man who traumatized you to contact you by email?” Henein asked. “Are you prepared to say you lied under oath?” The witness said she used the email as “bait,” so she could ask Ghomeshi “why did he violently punch me in the head?”

Henein presented a second email, sent to Ghomeshi by the complainant six months later, which she did not mention to the media, police or Crown. It included a photo of the witness in a bathing suit. “That is a photo showing your entire body in a string bikini,” Henein said. The witness responded: “The motivation behind my picture — all of this — was to get Mr. Ghomeshi to phone me so I could ask him why he punched me in the head.” She added that she had no interest in Ghomeshi and was in a committed relationship at the time; she deliberately chose the photo so he would call her. “He didn’t, though,” Henein said. “No,” the complainant responded. “Those are my questions,” Henein said, and the witness was excused from the stand.

In the courtroom: With cross-examination  over, the complainant left the stand clutching a water bottle. She entered the packed court gallery, glancing at Ghomeshi as she walked  past the public and a string of reporters to the wooden door at the back of the room.

Ghomeshi: Ghomeshi entered the court with a grey suit, a blue patterned tie and no expression. After court was dismissed, he said hello to his mother, waved to his sister, then left with Henein.

The soundbite: “I always understood that this process would be difficult and I remain satisfied that I came forward despite how difficult this process has been… I want to encourage other victims of abuse to come forward and not be afraid.” — The first complainant, in a statement released by her lawyer to the media following her testimony.

Up next: Court is adjourned until Thursday morning due to a scheduling issue.

Related:
The Ghomeshi Trial: Day 1
How long the trial will last
Who’s who in the courtroom