The Ghomeshi trial: Day 3

A full day of examination for Lucy DeCoutere — the only named complainant in this case — ended with a cliffhanger from Jian Ghomeshi’s lawyer.

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Summary: Justice William Horkins denied a motion, brought by a number of media outlets, to unseal a photo of the first complainant in a red string bikini. The Crown completed its examination of the second complainant, Lucy DeCoutere (whose name is not covered by a publication ban), and Ghomeshi’s lawyer Marie Henein began her cross-examination.

The big moment: In her testimony to the Crown, DeCoutere described her sense of humour as “salacious,” and said she and Ghomeshi had exchanged many emails characterized by that kind of humour after they met at a 2003 arts conference in Banff, Alta. During cross-examination, Henein grilled DeCoutere about her failure to tell police about kissing Ghomeshi after she says he pushed her against a wall, choked her and hit her three times with a open hand. The lawyer then produced photos, taken shortly after the alleged incident, of DeCoutere and Ghomeshi “cuddling” (Henein’s word); DeCoutere explained that she had seen Ghomeshi that weekend in order to “normalize” contact with him. Henein noted the many media interviews that DeCoutere has given since coming forward; she also cited conversations that DeCoutere had with friends where she apparently said (before going to police) that she wanted to “get the ball rolling and press charges,” and that she wanted Ghomeshi “decimated.”

The day ended with a return to those “salacious emails,” ones Henein alleged DeCoutere feared Ghomeshi would use to “destroy me.” DeCoutere had told police about the existence of the emails but not their content: “I just don’t know what’s in them,” she testified, having failed to find them. The first complainant was blindsided on Tuesday by emails sent to Ghomeshi, Henein noted, and hours after that testimony, DeCoutere’s lawyer contacted the Crown so she could give an additional statement.

“Do you want to tell the court the real conversation — the one you have not told anyone here today?” Henein asked, voice raised. “You want to tell the truth?”

“I’m not sure what you mean,” DeCoutere responded, and that’s when Henein asked for an adjournment for the day.

In the courtroom: DeCoutere walked past Ghomeshi on her way out of the courtroom for lunch break. He did not look at her. She did not look at him.

Ghomeshi: He wore a dark suit, brown shoes and multicoloured striped socks that were visible when he was seated at the defence table. Ghomeshi often had his chin in his hand while listening to DeCoutere’s testimony.

The soundbite: “I always thought assault meant you were beaten to pieces. I didn’t think this qualified.” — DeCoutere on why she didn’t contact the police after Ghomeshi allegedly hit and choked her.

Up next: Henein resumes her cross-examination.

Related:
10 photos as relevant to the Ghomeshi trial as a bikini shot
Why would an assault survivor reach out to an abuser?
There’s value in live-tweeting Jian Ghomeshi’s trial