DeCoutere, friend talked about choking incident...
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Feb 10, 2016  |  Vote 0    0

DeCoutere, friend talked about choking incident over the years, Ghomeshi trial told

A statement given to police by Lucy DeCoutere’s friend says she learned about the alleged attack days after the date with Jian Ghomeshi


Lucy DeCoutere told a good friend more than a decade ago that Jian Ghomeshi choked her at his house, according to a witness statement entered into evidence near the end of Ghomeshi’s high-profile sexual assault trial.

DeCoutere “described an incident in which she had gone to (Ghomeshi’s) house, and that he had ended up putting his hands on her neck and choking her,” according to Sarah Dunsworth, DeCoutere’s friend and fellow actor on the television show Trailer Park Boys.

Justice William Horkins has been asked by the Crown attorney in the case to consider the statement as proof not that the choking happened, but rather that DeCoutere did not invent the allegation recently to bring her publicity. The crown’s closing arguments start Thursday at 10 a.m.

Dunsworth was snowbound in Halifax, and a decision was made by the court to receive her evidence by way of the statement to police. A Toronto detective took her statement on Nov. 24, 2014. Ghomeshi was charged with sexual assault two days later.

Ghomeshi is charged with four counts of sexual assault and one of choking. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

According to a transcript of the interview, Dunsworth said that when her friend disclosed to her the choking allegation she told DeCoutere “it’s really not normal.”

“And we talked about the fact that (Ghomeshi and DeCoutere) hadn’t discussed it beforehand, or that it wasn’t part of any kind of like, you know, sex play, or anything,” Dunsworth told detectives.

DeCoutere told court when she testified that Ghomeshi assaulted her in 2003. The Dunsworth statement says she was unsure of the date, but thought it was in 2004.

Recounting the story to the detective, Dunsworth told police that her friend doesn’t date much, but she knew DeCoutere was going on a date with Ghomeshi. A couple of days after the date, Dunsworth said DeCoutere told her during a telephone call about the choking incident. She said her friend was “reaching out to a girlfriend.”

She said DeCoutere told her there was no warning from Ghomeshi, and that DeCoutere said of the concept of choking as part of sex that she was “really not interested in it.”

DeCoutere, Dunsworth on Q as Trailer Park Boys characters

Defence lawyer Marie Henein had argued that Dunsworth’s statement to police was irrelevant. The Crown said, and the judge agreed, that the evidence could be used to rebut the defence assertion that DeCoutere recently fabricated the allegations against Ghomeshi to boost her fame.

Dunsworth said they discussed the alleged sexual assault periodically over the years, including the period before she and DeCoutere were interviewed by Ghomeshi, in Trailer Park Boys character, on the CBC radio show Q in 2008 — an interview she described as “very awkward” because Ghomeshi was very rude and “obviously wasn’t interested in interviewing us even slightly.”

“He was obviously, like, extremely uncomfortable with us being there (on the show),” she told police. “And people who didn’t know anything about what had gone between he and Lucy actually listened to the radio show and they called me afterwards and they were like … ‘Why was he so rude to you guys?’”

DeCoutere, Dunsworth on Q as Trailer Park Boys characters

Toronto Star

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