When Your Friend Is On the Stand at the Ghomeshi Trial

When Your Friend Is On the Stand at the Ghomeshi Trial

By Stacey May Fowles
February 9, 2016

It is excruciating to watch someone you care about testify in a sexual assault trial. That difficulty can only increase when you have an assault in your own past, when you did every “wrong” thing in the aftermath. When you sent notes and gifts. When you told him you loved him and kissed him good night. When you pleadingly asked what you had done wrong.

There were so many moments last week while I watched my friend Lucy DeCoutere testify in the Jian Ghomeshi trial that I thought about the nature of memory. I tried to remember exactly what I did in 2003, the year when Lucy swore, under oath, that Jian had slapped and choked her. Where I was living, what my hair looked like, the contents of any emails I sent or any letters I wrote. Then I thought about the details of my own assault decades earlier. I remember what I was wearing, what the weather was like, what I had for breakfast the following morning. I remember what he said and what he did on that day. And yet I forget almost everything that happened in the weeks before and after it.

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