The sex assault trial of former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi began this morning with testimony from woman who described his demeanour changing rapidly from sweet and humble to “almost like rage.”
The woman, whose name is subject to a publication ban, told the court that her initial impression of Ghomeshi was that of a perfect gentleman who drove a car straight out of a Disney movie.
So when he first yanked her hair back hard for two or three seconds as they sat kissing in his car after a taping of his CBC TV show in 2002, she was stunned and began to minimize what happened. “Maybe he doesn’t know his own strength,” she said she thought.
She said she noticed him switch from nice to what felt “almost like rage that wasn’t there the seconds before he did it.” After he pulled her hair, she said, he said something like, “do you like it like that” or “do you like this?”
She did not, she told the court.
But he switched back to charming and she agreed to come to another taping the next month, this time with a friend, she said.
She ended up going back to his place, she said. As they stood kissing, he suddenly grabbed her hair again, she testified – “really hard, harder than first time he did it.”
Then he punched her in the head multiple times with what felt like a closed fist, she testified.
“I’m terrified, I don’t know why he is doing this,” she said. “I don’t know if he is going to stop. Can I take this pain?”
As she was crying, Ghomeshi said she should leave and called her a cab, she said. He did not ask if she was okay, she said.
Ghomeshi is charged with four counts of sexual assault and one of choking.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The judge-alone trial continues at Old City Hall before Justice William B. Horkins.