Ghomeshi Trial Has First Big Twist as Witness' 3 AM Email to the Accused Revealed

Jian Ghomeshi's lawyer didn't hold back on the witness who has accused the former CBC host of a vicious sex assault.

by Manisha Krishnan
Feb 2 2016, 5:38pm

As the first day of Jian Ghomeshi's sex assault trial wrapped up, his defence lawyer Marie Henein had already pointed out several discrepancies in the first witness' testimony to police, media, and the court.

Overall, they were relatively minor: was she wearing hair extensions when he allegedly yanked her hair? In which direction was her hair being pulled? Was she kissing Ghomeshi before he allegedly pulled her hair or during? On Tuesday, she introduced a new question about whether or not the witness was "pushed," "pulled," or "thrown" to the ground during the assault in Ghomeshi's house—the answers appeared to vary in different interviews.

Then came the big reveal. Henein produced a series of bombshell emails that suggested the witness had made incorrect statements under oath when she claimed she cut off all communication with Ghomeshi after allegedly being punched in the head in his home.

Henein started out by establishing that the witness, whose identity is protected under publication ban, originally chose not to report Ghomeshi to police but instead "stay away" from him. She replayed a part of a recent police interview in which the woman said, "I didn't have any more dealings with him after that."

Henein outlined how "at least six times under oath" the witness told cops and the media that she didn't reach out to Ghomeshi after being allegedly assaulted in 2003, to the point where she turned off the TV and radio when he was on because it forced her to "relive the violence."

Then Henein paused, dramatically, asking, "Do you now want to tell his honour and the court the truth?" The witness responded that she had done so.

READ MORE: Day One of Jian Ghomeshi Trial Shows the Difficulty Faced By Alleged Victims of Sex Assaults

Henein presented the court with an email, dated January, 16, 2004, a year after the alleged assault took place. It was from the witness to Ghomeshi.

"Can I explain?" the witness interjected. But Henein carried on, going line by line through the email, which was sent at around 3 AM.

The subject read "Play>Boy" and opened with "Good to see you again!" followed by "Your show is still great."

The witness had included a link in the email to some kind of music video featuring herself and a friend. The email closed with, "If you want to keep in touch this is my email!!!!" and listed a phone number. (Ghomeshi never replied, according to the witness.)

"Are you prepared to admit you have lied under oath?" Henein asked the witness, to which she said, "I refuse."

The second email, sent in June 2004, opened with, "I've been watching you on 'Screw the Vote.'"

At this, the witness claimed that that was a lie and she'd never watched Ghomeshi on that show.

"I thought I'd drop you a line and say hello," it reads. "Hope all is well." Attached was a photo of the witness in a bikini.

The witness told the court she sent the emails to "bait" Ghomeshi.

"I wanted Jian to call me so I could ask him why did he violently punch me in the head," she said. "If reaching out to him like this was the only way to get it, that's the only way to get it."

The witness said she remembered drafting angry emails but couldn't remember sending them. Henein responded, "That is not an angry photo. It's a photo showing your entire body in a string bikini."

Her questions ended there. The witness left, her credibility undeniably damaged.

Follow Manisha Krishnan on Twitter for live tweets at the Ghomeshi trial.