Ghomeshi’s accusers exchanged 5,000 messages before and after going to police

Jian Ghomeshi's sexual assault trial is hearing that two of the complainants who testified against the disgraced broadcaster discussed the allegations in thousands of messages they exchanged before and after they went to police.

TORONTO — Jian Ghomeshi’s sexual assault trial is hearing that two of the complainants who testified against the disgraced broadcaster discussed the allegations in thousands of messages they exchanged before and after they went to police.

The third woman to testify against Ghomeshi said earlier on Monday that while she and “Trailer Park Boys” actress Lucy DeCoutere — who testified last week — were friends, they did not discuss the sexual assault allegations involving the former CBC Radio host.

But during an intense cross-examination, the woman, who can not be identified, said that she did in fact discuss the allegations with DeCoutere.

Ghomeshi’s lawyer Marie Heinen noted that the two women had exchanged 5,000 messages, beginning on Oct. 29, 2014 — the same day DeCoutere went public with her allegations.

Heinen said the woman reported the alleged assault to police in December 2014, and the correspondence with DeCoutere continued until September 2015.

In some of the messages, DeCoutere instructs the woman to contact the actress’s lawyer and her publisher. In others, she gives the woman a “detailed and lengthy breakdown” of her own meetings with the Crown.

The woman testified earlier on Monday that Ghomeshi bit her shoulder and put his hands around her neck as they were making out in a Toronto park.

The woman, who was 32 years old at the time, said she had consented to the kissing, but she had not agreed to what followed.

“He was kissing my neck and I just felt all of a sudden I felt his hand on my shoulders and his teeth. And then his hands were around my neck and he was squeezing,” the woman said in a trembling voice.

“Some kind of switch felt like it had happened. It wasn’t the same person there. I tried to get out of it and then his hand was on my mouth, sort of smothering me.”

The woman said the alleged incident happened in the early 2000s, shortly after they first met at a dance festival in Toronto.

She was with other people at the community event when Ghomeshi approached her from behind and rested his arms on her shoulders. When asked by someone how they knew each other, she said Ghomeshi replied “We’re engaged.”

“We weren’t,” the woman told court on Monday “It was taking ownership of me in some way that was just surprising. It was a familiarity that was surprising to me.”

Ghomeshi and the woman went out for dinner after that interaction, and on another night, met in an isolated part of a city park where they began kissing on a bench.

It was while they were kissing that the alleged assault took place, court heard.

She said as soon as she freed herself from his hold, she left the park without saying a word, got into a cab and went home.

“My instinct was to just sort of get out of it physically,” she said. “There was nothing about this that I wanted to be a part of. It didn’t feel safe or sexy.”

She met again with Ghomeshi for dinner and drinks and then they went back to her place for “romantic” interactions.

The woman said she did not tell police about that night when she initially came forward because she had been embarrassed and didn’t think the encounter was relevant.

When pressed further on why she would have Ghomeshi come back to her place after he had allegedly assaulted her, the woman said the former CBC host was a charmer.

Some time later, the woman said she went to a party with Ghomeshi where he repeatedly berated one of her close friends. The incident set off “warning bells” for the woman and resulted in an argument.

“I got out of the car, slammed the door, told him he was crazy, told him to never call me again,” she said.

The woman said she didn’t go to police with her allegations in 2003 because she wanted to put the incident behind her.

“I just wanted it gone. I wasn’t sure that there was anything to go on,” she said, adding that she also didn’t want to jeopardize the career of her brother, who was in the arts industry.

“I didn’t want to be the hysterical sister…I thought if I just keep myself out of the line of fire then it’s probably best for everybody.”

It was only when she read news reports about other women making similar allegations following the CBC’s dismissal of Ghomeshi in October 2014 that the woman decided to speak out.

“I realized that I wasn’t an isolated incident,” she said. “It was time to talk.”

The 48-year-old former CBC Radio star has pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual assault, and one count of overcome resistance by choking.

He acknowledged in 2014 that he engaged in rough sex acts, but said it was consensual.

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

Just Posted

File photo
Gov’t of Alberta identifies estimated 300 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

Online COVID-19 dashboard unavailable as upgrades being completed

The Central Alberta Freestyle Ski Club is hoping to win $50,000 through the Mackenzie Investments Top Peak contest. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta ski club trying to win $50K in online contest

A central Alberta ski club has entered a contest where it can… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

Ben King scores for the Red Deer Rebels during the third period of a Western Hockey League game against the Calgary Hitmen at the Westerner Park Centrium Saturday. (Photo by Rob Wallator/Red Deer Rebels)
Rebels complete comeback to pick up first win of season

Rebels 3 Hitmen 2 (OT) The Red Deer Rebels were able to… Continue reading

Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan takes part in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa on December 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservatives to call top Sajjan, Trudeau aides to testify on Vance allegations

OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives plan to summon two senior Liberal aides… Continue reading

Elvira D'Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Several provinces were preparing to loosen COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday, as Canada’s… Continue reading

Mount Pearl Senior High in Mount Pearl, N.L., remains closed on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The provincial health authority says there were 185 cases at 22 schools, including 145 infections among staff and students of one high school in Mount Pearl that was an early epicentre of the outbreak. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly
In Newfoundland and Labrador, three ingredients made for explosive COVID-19 outbreak

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — With her classes, three part-time jobs and a… Continue reading

A passenger places a tag on luggage at the departure terminal at Toronto Pearson Airport, in Mississauga, Ont., Friday, May 24, 2019. The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many recent immigrants to leave Canada and return to their countries of origin, where they have more social and familial connections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
COVID-19 pandemic prompts recent newcomers to leave Canada for their home countries

OTTAWA — The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic… Continue reading

Rail cars wait for pickup in Winnipeg, Sunday, March 23, 2014. The fierce debate over cross-border pipelines is putting more Canadian oil and gas on trains destined for the United States — a country experts fear is ill-equipped for the potential consequences. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
As debate rages over cross-border pipelines, U.S. analysts brace for more oil by rail

WASHINGTON — The fierce debate over cross-border pipelines is putting more Canadian… Continue reading

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

VICTORIA — Legal experts and a mother whose ex-partner was convicted of… Continue reading

Radio and television personality Dick Smyth is shown in an undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
Dick Smyth, Canadian maestro of news radio commentary, dies at 86

TORONTO — Radio and television personality Dick Smyth, whose booming commentary filled… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

Most Read