News

The Ghomeshi trial: Day 4

During a dramatic cross-examination, intimate emails and one "love letter" Lucy DeCoutere sent Ghomeshi after the alleged assault were read to the court.

Summary: Jian Ghomeshi’s lawyer, Marie Henein, continued her cross-examination of the second complainant, Lucy DeCoutere. Henein produced a series of emails DeCoutere sent Ghomeshi after the alleged assault and a hand-written message that Henein described as a “love letter.” DeCoutere’s lawyer, Gillian Hnatiw, made a statement on her client’s behalf after court adjourned early.

The big moment: DeCoutere told the Crown earlier this week that she sent emails to Ghomeshi after the alleged assault on July 4, 2003 but didn’t remember the contents, except that they were friendly in tone. Henein produced those emails and plucked some lines to read aloud: “I think you are magic and would love to see you.” (July 17, 2003.) “I’m in town and am gonna call you [sic] cell phone and ask you to play with me … in a manner of speaking … so you have fair warning.” (Nov 24, 2003.) And she asked DeCoutere to read an email she sent the day after the alleged incident: “You kicked my ass last night and that makes me want to f— your brains out.” 

Henein asked DeCoutere if she was prepared to admit she lied about the incident. DeCoutere said “no.” 

“Mr. Ghomeshi choked me with no consent because he never asked for it. He slapped me with no consent, because he never asked for it,” she said. “And I did send him this email…. That doesn’t change the fact that he assaulted me and I never gave consent to him.”  She added: “Women can be assaulted by someone and still have positive feelings for them afterwards.” 

Henein then produced a hand-written letter that DeCoutere wrote Ghomeshi, dated July 9, 2003 — six days after the alleged assault. In it, DeCoutere wrote that she loved spending time with him and was worried she gave him “mixed messages.” After reminding DeCoutere that she previously testified that she could still feel Ghomeshi’s grip on her neck and the blows to her face, Henein asked DeCoutere to read the final line of the letter and the sign-off aloud: “I love your hands. Lucy.” 

During the Crown’s re-exam, DeCoutere said the last line of the letter put a “magnifying glass” on the “very things [Ghomeshi] used to hurt me.”

In the courtroom: After the cross-examination, DeCoutere glanced at friends in the front row as she exited the stand. Ghomeshi looked at her as she crossed the court in front of him.

Ghomeshi: He wore a light grey suit and skinny blue tie. When court broke for the weekend, he held his mother’s arm a moment longer than he did other days this week.

Up next: The Crown has new disclosure from the third complainant, who will likely take the witness stand on Monday.

Related:
Lucy DeCoutere’s message for assault survivors
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