TORONTO – Trailer Park Boys actress Lucy DeCoutere is fending off an onslaught from Jian Ghomeshi’s defence lawyer on a series of fawning correspondence she sent to the disgraced broadcaster after he allegedly assaulted her, including one that contained a raunchy photograph.
One of the emails, sent just hours after Ghomeshi allegedly choked and slapped her, shows DeCoutere using racy language to express her sexual desire for him and regret that she didn’t spend the night with him.
She has told Ghomeshi’s sexual assault trial that she doesn’t remember sending it.
DeCoutere alleges that 48-year-old former CBC Radio host started choking and slapping her in the face without warning while they were kissing at his home in the summer of 2003.
Marie Henein also presented DeCoutere with a letter she wrote to Ghomeshi a few days after the alleged attack. In that dispatch, she expresses gratitude for having met the CBC star and a desire to spend more time with him.
DeCoutere expressed embarrassment about some of the emails as she read over them, including one in which she says she is going to “beat the crap” out of the CBC star if he doesn’t agree to see her.
The actress says she feels terrible reading that email now, because it sounds as though she was propositioning him — but she says she wasn’t.
Henein also showed her a photo the actress sent to Ghomeshi showing her simulating fellatio on a beer bottle.
DeCoutere acknowledged sending the photo, but added that it didn’t mean Ghomeshi hadn’t assaulted her. She said she thought the photo was funny and sent it not only to the CBC star, but to other people as well.
The Royal Canadian Air Force captain has remained calm, not flustered, throughout the cross-examination, insisting more than once that her subsequent interactions with Ghomeshi following the alleged assault don’t mean it didn’t happen. DeCoutere has looked intently at Henein during questioning.
In another email, DeCoutere asks Ghomeshi for a chance encounter in a broom closet in advance of seeing him again at the same Banff conference where she’d met him a year earlier in June 2003.
In yet another email, entitled “brace yourself,” DeCoutere tells Ghomeshi that she plans to call him and ask him to “play” with her in October 2003, months after he allegedly choked and slapped her repeatedly in his home.
The actress says she was simply inviting him to dine with her when she arrived in Toronto from Halifax for the Gemini Awards.
She denied it was flirtatious, instead describing it as platonic. Of the other emails DeCoutere said she remembers sending now that she’s reading them, she insisted she had no sexual interest in Ghomeshi.
Henein also accused DeCoutere of withholding pertinent information about her friendship with the disgraced broadcaster until just this week.
“So when you tell police that your paths would cross and you were never comfortable with him … are you prepared to admit that that is a lie?” Henein asked.
DeCoutere replied: “I will go out of my way to find a way to not have negative feelings with somebody and so I will spend time with them. I’ve done that lots of times.”
Henein also reminded DeCoutere that she told police she had no interest in Ghomeshi romantically.
During cross-examination, Henein outlined a number of details about their friendship more than a decade ago that she says DeCoutere only told the Crown in recent days, after his sexual assault trial started.
Henein suggested DeCoutere has held back information that indicates she’s been dishonest about their subsequent relationship.
DeCoutere pushed back, saying she provided the new information when the opportunity presented itself. She added that some of those details hadn’t made a significant impact on her — the way his alleged choking did.
DeCoutere, who has waived her right to a publication ban, is the second complainant to take the stand at Ghomeshi’s closely watched trial.
She is one of three women behind five charges against Ghomeshi — four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking. He has pleaded not guilty.
While she recalled vivid details of the incident when questioned by a Crown prosecutor, Henein accused DeCoutere of omitting key details when talking to the police. Now she says she’s revealed new details as recently as Thursday.
Henein asked why DeCoutere hadn’t told police about some emails she exchanged with Ghomeshi after she alleges he assaulted her, noting the actress only disclosed them to the Crown on Thursday, after the first complainant to testify at the trial was confronted with her own emails to Ghomeshi sent 18 months after her separate alleged assaults.
“I didn’t understand the importance of after-contact incidents,” DeCoutere explained.
As in her cross-examination of the previous complainant, Henein didn’t challenge DeCoutere’s allegation that Ghomeshi hit her, but concentrated on other details of the time the two spent together and their correspondence.