Chief Cosby accuser says she was too weak to ‘fight him off’
Bill Cosby’s chief accuser took the witness stand for the second time to tell a story of molestation and broken trust, describing for jurors how the comedian knocked her out with three blue pills and then sexually assaulted her at his home.
“I was weak. I was limp, and I just could not fight him off,” said Andrea Constand, who found herself in the same cavernous courtroom on Friday less than a year after a jury was unable to reach a verdict on charges against Cosby.
Her harrowing account of the events in 2004 was consistent with the one she gave at last year’s trial in suburban Philadelphia, and jurors watched intently and scribbled notes as she told how Cosby, the good-guy celebrity she viewed as a mentor and friend, had betrayed her.
“Ms. Constand, why are you here?” prosecutor Kristen Feden asked.
“For justice,” Constand said.
The defense has blasted Constand as a “con artist” who leveled false accusations against the star as part of a scheme to get money from him.
During cross-examination Friday, Cosby lawyer Tom Mesereau went through a thick binder of Constand’s police statements and prior testimony as he tried to poke holes in her story. But the jury heard only minor discrepancies between what she said in the past and her account on the witness stand.
And, after telling jurors in his opening statement that Constand had operated a Ponzi scheme while running women’s basketball operations at Temple University, Mesereau’s evidence was a cut-and-paste email that Constand sent for a friend years ago. She testified that she barely remembered it.
The defense was expected to continue its cross-examination on Monday.
Under questioning by the prosecution, Constand said Cosby offered her pills and a sip of wine after she said she was “stressed” about telling the Temple basketball coach of her plans to leave to study massage therapy in her native Canada. She said Cosby, a Temple alum and powerful trustee, called the pills “your friends” and told her they would “help take the edge off.”
Instead, Constand said, the pills made her black out. She awoke to find the actor known as “America’s Dad” penetrating her with his fingers, touching her breast and putting her hand on his penis.
She said she wanted Cosby to stop but couldn’t say anything. She tried moving her arms and legs but couldn’t do that either.
Constand said she awoke between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. to find her bra up around her neck and her pants half unzipped. She said Cosby stopped her as she went to leave: “All he said was there’s a muffin and tea on the table and then, ‘All right’ and then I left.”
Afterward, Constand said, “I was really humiliated. I was in shock. And I was really confused.”
The now 80-year-old entertainer has said he gave Constand the cold medicine Benadryl and that she consented to a sexual encounter.
Constand testified she decided to report the assault to police in January 2005, about a year later, jarred to action by a nightmare and an increasing awareness of consent issues from her ongoing massage therapy training.
“I didn’t want it to happen to anybody else, what had happened to me,” she said.
She said she was “very scared” about going to police because “he was a Temple trustee. A very powerful man. An entertainer. A very famous person.”
Constand’s allegation is the only one among dozens against Cosby that has led to criminal charges. If convicted, the former TV star best known for his No. 1 family sitcom “The Cosby Show” faces up to 10 years in prison on each of three related aggravated indecent assault charges.
A jury deadlocked after last year’s trial, unable to reach a verdict after more than 52 hours of deliberations over six days.