Emails to Ghomeshi after alleged assaults were 'bait,' witness tells trial

The first witness in the Jian Ghomeshi trial is finished on the stand after being cross-examined by the lawyer for the disgraced radio host for a second day.

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The witness was on the stand for approximately one hour on Tuesday, where she was questioned about a pair of emails she said she used to "bait" Ghomeshi into speaking to her about the alleged assaults.

The witness' allegations led to two of the four charges of sexual assault that have been filed against the radio host. He is also facing one count of overcoming resistance by choking. Ghomeshi has always denied any wrongdoing and claimed his sexual relations were consensual.

The Crown's first witness was questioned about incidents that occurred while she was on a date with Ghomeshi in late 2002, and on a second date in early 2003.

She told the courtroom that he had pulled her hair on a first date, and started "punching me in the head multiple times" on a second date.

Day 2 of the trial began with the court watching a video of the first witness's statement to police. She was then questioned by Ghomeshi's lawyer Marie Henein about inconsistencies in her testimony, based on the statement she made to Toronto police.

The witness was asked about whether Ghomeshi smashed her head against a window on their first date, something she said previously. In her testimony on Monday, she said that he pulled her hair, but did not say that he smashed her head.

She told Ghomeshi's lawyer that any inconsistencies in her statements are due to memory lapses or being nervous. She said her testimony on Monday was her recollection "to the best of my ability."

The witness was also asked about a pair of emails she sent to Ghomeshi a year after the alleged assaults. The emails appeared to contradict some of the statements the witness made, including the assertion that she never watched Ghomeshi's show, and hadn't been in contact with him again.

"Good to see you again! Your show is still great!" the first email said. She also asked him to email or call her, and sent him a photo of her in a bikini on the beach.

The witness told Henein that the emails were sent in an attempt to bait Ghomeshi into speaking to her.

"It was bait to call me so I could get an explanation as to why he would violently punch me in the head," she told the court.

"I had no interest in him."

After the cross-examination was over, the witness' lawyer, Jacob Jesin, read a statement on her behalf outside court.

In the statement, the witness said she felt like a "weight has been lifted" off her shoulders by telling her story.

"This experience of coming to court to testify and give evidence, and to face Mr. Ghomeshi has been extraordinarily difficult in light of what happened to me," said the statement.

"I always understood that this process would be difficult, and I remain satisfied that I chose to come forward, despite how difficult this process has been."

The witness also encouraged victims of abuse to come forward and "not be afraid."


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