First witness testifies Ghomeshi hit her head three times

On first day of trial, defence grills complainant over inconsistencies

The first complainant at the Jian Ghomeshi sex assault trial is facing intense cross-examination from defence lawyer Marie Henein.

On Monday, the woman testified Ghomeshi hit her “about three times in the head” and later threw her out of his house “like trash.”

The woman said they met at a Christmas party in 2002 and started to flirt. Ghomeshi invited her to a taping of his show, Play, that she attended two days later. After the taping they went to a pub across the street. Afterwards, Ghomeshi drove her to her car at a nearby parking lot.

The two began kissing in the car and suddenly Ghomeshi grabbed her hair “very hard” and began yanking on it.

“He went from being really nice, to this rage.”

—Witness in Ghomeshi trial

She said she questioned whether or not he meant to do that because he instantly switched back to being a nice guy.

“He went from being really nice, to this rage,” she said.

The next time they saw each other, they ended up going back to Ghomeshi’s house. She said they were kissing on the couch and then stood up to continue kissing. She said once they stood up Ghomeshi grabbed her hair and punched her three times in the head.

“He threw me out like trash,” she said. She said Ghomeshi didn’t ask her if she was OK, instead Ghomeshi says, “You better go now, I’ll call you a cab,” the witness said.

She said there was no prior discussion about Ghomeshi hitting her when asked by Crown attorney Michael Callaghan.

The defence attacked the complainant’s details of the testimony. Henein thoroughly questioned the complainant’s memory of events and details.

During the cross-examination the witness said, “I will accept that I really like him.”

The witness said she didn’t come forward with the allegations to the police until November 2014 because she “didn’t think anyone would listen.”

Before the trial began, Ghomeshi leaned over and grabbed the hand of a woman sitting in the first row of the audience and said, “Hi, mom.”

Throughout the day’s proceedings, Ghomeshi sat silent in the packed courtroom.

The high-profile trial, presided over by Judge William Horkins, started off by clarifying the media’s access to sensitive exhibits that include photographs, recordings and video.

The judge favours allowing such access.

Ghomeshi is facing four accounts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking.