Flirtatious emails to Ghomeshi after alleged attacks were bait, woman says

A woman who testified that she went to great lengths avoiding any contact with Jian Ghomeshi after he allegedly attacked her acknowledged during intense cross-examination on Tuesday that she sent him flirtatious emails long after their encounters.

TORONTO — A woman who testified that she went to great lengths avoiding any contact with Jian Ghomeshi after he allegedly attacked her acknowledged during intense cross-examination on Tuesday that she sent him flirtatious emails long after their encounters.

In a dramatic development that set the courtroom on edge, Ghomeshi’s lawyer produced two emails that appeared to contradict the woman’s statements that she had been so traumatized by what happened, she’d even turn off the TV or radio when he came on.

The first email was written in January 2004, about a year after she said he had yanked her to the floor by the hair during a “sensuous” kiss in his living room and then punched her in the head.

“Good to see you again! Your show is still great,” it says.

She goes on to provide a website address for him to watch a video of her “when you take a break from ploughing snow naked,” gives her email address and phone number and asks him to get in touch.

Defence lawyer Marie Henein, known for her no-holds-barred cross-examinations, pounced.

“You’re now inviting the man who traumatized you to get in touch with you?” she asked incredulously.

“The email was bait,” the witness responded. “It was bait to call me so I could get an explanation as to why he would violently punch me in the head. I had no interest in him.”

Six months later, she sent a second email, also shown to the court. She writes she had been watching a show of his. Attached was a revealing bikini photo of her on the beach.

“I wanted him to call me,” she explained. “I sent a photograph, again, as bait.”

The emails were the climax of a relentless cross-examination that Henein began Monday as the lawyer poked holes in the woman’s testimony and exposed inconsistencies in her various statements to police, the media and court.

In one example, the woman told police that Ghomeshi had “smashed” her head against a car window. She backtracked in court. She also said she had been nervous when she spoke to two detectives in November 2014.

“There was nothing wrong in that police interview that would cause you not to tell them the truth,” Henein said at one point.

“I told them the truth that day through my nerves,” the witness answered.

“And your truth keeps changing?”

“I don’t agree with that.”

At times, the witness appeared flustered as Henein grilled her, but continued to insist she had not lied — that she had only gradually come to remember things.

Ghomeshi, 48, who used to host CBC Radio’s popular culture show “Q,” betrayed no emotion as he closely watched Henein pace the floor during the questioning.

He has pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual assault — two of which relate to the woman — and one count of overcoming resistance by choking.

On Monday, the witness — the first to testify — told Ghomeshi’s judge-alone trial that he seemed like a charming gentleman who would turn violent without warning.

She testified that in late 2002, Ghomeshi pulled hard on her hair while they were kissing in his car. A few weeks later, as they stood in his living room, she testified he grabbed her hair and punched her in the head, leaving her dazed, upset and confused.

At different times, Henein noted, the woman had said Ghomeshi pushed her to the floor or pulled her.

“It wasn’t like he was saying, ‘Here, have a seat’,” the woman testified.

In a statement released after her testimony, the woman said going to court and facing Ghomeshi had been “extraordinarily difficult” but worth it.

“I want to encourage other victims of abuse to come forward, and not be afraid,” she said. “I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders now that I have had a chance to tell my story openly.”

Ghomeshi faces two other counts of sexual assault, which carry a maximum 18 months in jail, and a choking charge that has a potential maximum of life in prison.

The trial continues Thursday after the Crown said there had been witness scheduling issues.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre’s expansion project is still a high priority, says Alberta Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Interior work will start this year on Red Deer hospital project, says infrastructure minister

‘We are committed. This is a top priority,’ says Presad Panda

FILE - Premier Jason Kenney updates media on measures taken to help with COVID-19, in Edmonton March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Consistent pandemic policy has helped Alberta, premier says

Alberta fatality rate lower than Canadian average

The determined look of Terry Fox, as captured by artist Nathan Scott in his statue of the heroic Canadian cancer fundraiser. (File photo by BLACK PRESS)
Clearview Public Schools raise money through Terry Fox school runs

Terry Fox runners have been raising money for 40 years

Deng Mabiour appeared in person in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Wednesday afternoon. He is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Dr. Walter Reynolds, who was killed at the Village Mall Walk-In Clinic in Red Deer last summer. (Advocate file photo)
Trial of man accused of killing Red Deer doctor going ahead

Deng Mabiour is fit for four-week trial that is set to begin Nov. 22

Shaw Communications reports higher second-quarter revenue and earnings

Shaw Communications reports higher second-quarter revenue and earnings

Infrastructure and Communities Minister Catherine McKenna rises in the House of Commons following Question Period Monday March 22, 2021 in Ottawa. McKenna is announcing a $1.5-billion program designed to spur green building through retrofits, upgrades and new construction. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal government unveils $1.5-billion plan to boost green building

Federal government unveils $1.5-billion plan to boost green building

FILE - In this Tuesday, March 10, 2009, file photo, former financier Bernie Madoff exits federal court in Manhattan, in New York. Madoff, the financier who pleaded guilty to orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in history, has died in prison, a person familiar with the matter tells The Associated Press(AP Photo/David Karp, File)
Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff dies in prison at 82

Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff dies in prison at 82

A street sign along Bay Street in Toronto's financial district is shown on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
S&P/TSX composite slips despite energy sector jump; U.S. markets mixed

S&P/TSX composite slips despite energy sector jump; U.S. markets mixed

Diploma exams are optional this fall for high school students, the Alberta government said in a statement Tuesday. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Grades 7-12 students in Calgary shift to online learning for two weeks

Alberta Education approved a request this week from public and Catholic schools… Continue reading

FILE - Conor McGregor poses during a ceremonial weigh-in for the UFC 246 mixed martial arts bout in Las Vegas, in this Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, file photo. The UFC intends to welcome a capacity crowd at Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena on July 10, 2021, when Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor fight for the third time. UFC President Dana White announced his plan Wednesday, April 14, 2021, for the promotion's first sellout show in its hometown since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.(AP Photo/John Locher, File)
UFC plans full Vegas crowd in July at Poirier-McGregor fight

The UFC intends to welcome a capacity crowd at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile… Continue reading

Juno Awards signage hangs in downtown Saskatoon on Thursday, March 12, 2020. Organizers of the Juno Awards say they've postponed this year's 50th-anniversary celebration until June 6 "out of an abundance of caution in response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic." THE CANADIAN PRESS/Matt Smith
Juno Awards postpone 50th anniversary show date to June 6 amid COVID-19 pandemic

TORONTO — Organizers of the Juno Awards say they’re postponing this year’s… Continue reading

Infrastructure and Communities Minister Catherine McKenna rises in the House of Commons following Question Period Monday March 22, 2021 in Ottawa. McKenna is announcing a $1.5-billion program designed to spur green building through retrofits, upgrades and new construction. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal government unveils $1.5-billion plan to boost green building

OTTAWA — Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna has announced a $1.5-billion program designed… Continue reading

Most Read