The defence lawyer for Jian Ghomeshi revealed Lucy DeCoutere had sent him a series of emails in the days, weeks and even years after she says he violently choked and slapped her multiple times in his Toronto home. She had testified – and told police – she had no further contact with the former CBC radio host after the alleged attack.
DeCoutere, the actress and Royal Canadian Air Force captain, is the only alleged victim who can be identified because she is not under a publication ban. On Thursday, she told the court that Ghomeshi attacked her in July 2003.
On Friday, defence lawyer Marie Henein unveiled a chain of emails that showed DeCoutere had contacted Ghomeshi just hours after the alleged attack took place – and numerous times after that.
One of the emails sent to Ghomeshi, which was sent just hours after the alleged attack, said “you kicked my ass last night and” that she wanted to “f— your brains out.”
DeCoutere also emailed Ghomeshi 13 days later, on July 17, 2003, writing “I think you are magic and would love to see you” and asked to “hang out again.” Then, on July 25, 2003, DeCoutere wrote “I’m really glad to know you.”
“This is so long ago, I don’t remember,” DeCoutere told the court of the emails on Friday.
In another email from Nov. 23, 2003, DeCoutere told Ghomeshi that she was going to call his cell phone and “ask you to play with me.”
“This was platonic, I guarantee it,” DeCoutere said in court Friday, adding that she’s “uncomfortable with having negative feelings about people” and that it makes her “squirrelly.”
Then on May 19, 2004, DeCoutere sent an email to Ghomeshi that said “I wanna play with you” and asked if he wanted a “chance encounter in the broom closet?”
DeCoutere also sent an email to Ghomeshi on May 26, 2004 that said she “may stalk you a little between meetings” to which she responded that she was trying to “own it” in regard to her interactions with Ghomeshi after the alleged attack and to meet him on her own terms.
Henein said DeCoutere had also emailed a photo to Ghomeshi of the two of them singing karaoke in Banff in 2004 and wrote that it was “proof that you can’t live without me.” The first mention of that karaoke incident was only told to the court on Thursday of this week.
On Feb. 16, 2004, DeCoutere emailed Ghomeshi and said she had a dream about him “with me in Toronto” and asked “wanna hear about it?” She told the court she would have often had visceral dreams about friends.
On April 6, 2004, an email from DeCoutere to Ghomeshi said that she thought about him sometimes and asked if he had an “itch” he needed “um..scratching?”
DeCoutere then admitted to sending Ghomeshi a “ridiculous sexualized photo” of her “fellating” a bottle of beer in an Oct. 19, 2005 email that said “thanks for introducing me to a great and sexy neighbourhood.”
DeCoutere said the “cheeky photograph” had been sent to Ghomeshi and some of her other female friends at time.
READ: Letter from Lucy DeCoutere to Jian Ghomeshi
DeCoutere added she had “reacted” to her “conflicted feelings” towards Ghomeshi and said she was “not lying about what happened” but had forgotten certain details, which is why they weren’t included in her statements to police or her testimony.
Henein suggested DeCoutere “still had feelings” for Ghomeshi after the alleged attack, to which she responded “that doesn’t change the fact of the matter” about the allegations.
Ghomeshi’s defence lawyer then dropped another shocking allegation in the courtroom, namely that DeCoutere had written
Ghomeshi a “love letter” by hand – five days after the alleged attack.
READ: Emails from Lucy DeCoutere to Jian Ghomeshi
DeCoutere said she didn’t “remember writing it,” which is why she didn’t tell the Crown or police about it in her statements.
In the letter, DeCoutere wrote that Ghomeshi’s face was “everywhere at all times” and that he was “sparkling.”
She also wrote she felt “ripped off” for not being with able to spend an extra day with Ghomeshi in Banff, adding she had no reason to come to Toronto “except to hang with” Ghomeshi and that nothing would be better than lying in bed and listening to music with him.
Then, in one of the most startling revelations in the trial that led to audible gasps in the courtroom, the letter signed off with “I love your hands.”
Henein was quick to point out in the courtroom that those “hands” were the same hands DeCoutere had alleged Ghomeshi had choked and slapped her with just five days prior.
The defence lawyer then finished her cross-examination of the witness.
Crown attorney Corie Langdon then asked DeCoutere if there was anything about the letter she wanted to “explain,” to which DeCoutere responded that the letter was still “fresh” to her since she had written about it 11 years ago and forgotten its existence.
She then said she was “aloof” at the time the letter was written and mentioned a “shyness” that came through in it and how she described her “romantic missteps” to Ghomeshi.
“There were things about Mr. Ghomeshi I liked. I found him funny and cool,” DeCoutere said, adding the letter had an “apologetic tone” and that she was “almost placating” Ghomeshi which she said was symptomatic of the type of person she was when she wrote it and still is to an extent.
She said she would especially act this way if something “bad happened” to her and reiterated that Ghomeshi had “assaulted” her five days prior to writing it.
“Yes this letter exists,” DeCoutere said, adding there was “no untruth” in it but stressed that the last line about Ghomeshi’s hands was the very thing that he had used to hurt her so that it was “magnified” in the letter in her mind.
She also said she guessed she wanted to “forget” about the letter to Ghomeshi and said the letter and any other correspondence with him after the alleged attack meant nothing.
Ghomeshi, 48, who rose to fame as host of CBC Radio One’s popular current affairs program Q stands accused of four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking.
He has pleaded not guilty.
Ghomeshi, who was born in London, England but raised in Thornhill, Ont., will face a second trial in June on a separate charge of sexual assault, which arose from an alleged incident in January 2008 while he was the host of Q.