Jian Ghomeshi arrives at Old City Hall for Day 4 of his trial. (Craig Robertson/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network)
Oh Lucy, you have a lot of ’splaining to do.
My bias admitted: As a woman, I so wanted Lucy DeCoutere to be a strong witness in the Jian Ghomeshi sexual assault case. After the first complainant’s story fell apart so spectacularly earlier this week, I wanted the Trailer Park Boys actress to show legitimate victims with credible accounts that they shouldn’t fear coming forward, that the system would treat them fairly, honourably.
As a successful actor and a captain in the military with a master’s in education, she was a smart woman who would certainly be able to hold her own against any defence lawyer, even the terrifying Marie Henein. I was pulling for her.
Sad to say, she let us down. But so, too, did the Crown and the police who did a disastrous job in preparing this case for trial.
Another cross-examination, another implosion. Once again, it was a series of retrieved e-mails, photos and even a handwritten love letter produced by Henein like a magician from her hat of tricks that showed that contrary to what she told police and the media, DeCoutere was infatuated with the radio personality and sought to see him often — even just hours after she says he choked and slapped her in his Riverdale home on July 4, 2003.
Ghomeshi, 48, has pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking, all related to alleged assaults against DeCoutere and two other women between 2002 to 2003.
Like the first witness who accused Ghomeshi of punching her, DeCoutere said she forgot about these multiple efforts to reconnect with the man who allegedly attacked her. “Memory is a funny thing,” she mused.
She acknowledged how difficult her post-incident conduct would be for others to understand.
It’s complicated, she said. It’s weird, she admitted. This was her way of trying to “neutralize” what had been a bad, inexplicable act by a man she found cool and funny. Her way of dealing with it was by pursuing him as a friend. “To make him more human to me,” she explained.
“When dealing with trauma, it’s not a straight line.” Look at abused women, she said, who continually go back to the spouses who hurt them.
But as Henein coldly pointed out, this isn’t the same. DeCoutere spent one weekend with the guy. They were never involved in a relationship. She was financially independent, they shared no children, she could have easily cut off complete contact.
Instead, she continued to send him flirtatious e-mails and raunchy photos. Just hours after the alleged assault, DeCoutere wrote: “You kicked my ass last night and that makes me want to f–k your brains out. Tonight.”
She sent him flowers after that supposedly violent date. She wrote a handwritten love letter: “We hooked up for dinner and you totally knocked me out,” the actress wrote, using language that made us wince. “I loved spending time with you … I am sad we didn’t spend the night together.”
And then DeCoutere signed off, “I love your hands, Lucy.”
“I love your hands” — seriously? Did she just allude to the very hands she said had been wrapped around her neck?
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