UPDATE: Janice Baker-Kinney was the last witness called on the day. That made it three accusers who have, so far, testified to help bolster the prosecution’s case, trying to convince the jury Cosby sexually assaulted former Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004.
The defense countered by trying to portray the three accusers as hungry for fame and money — much as they said they would do with Constand — with attorney Tom Mesereau suggesting Baker-Kinney had hired lawyer Gloria Allred to “grab a pot of gold.”
Baker-Kinney described a night in 1981, living in Reno, when a co-worker at Harrah’s Casino invited a friend to a home where Cosby was staying for a “pizza party.” She said she remembers taking two pills Cosby offered her and him saying they were quaaludes. She woke up the next morning beside Cosby, naked and in a haze, feeling like she’d had sex the night before and with a slick discharge between her legs.
Baker-Kinney said she still has trouble admitting she was raped, a phrase Cosby attorney Tom Mesereau attempted to exploit during his cross-examination. When he asked her when she began to think the blame for the assault belonged with Cosby, she said about two years ago. He got her to say that was about the same time she began consulting with Allred.
Mesereau also harped on other times she used drugs in her life, including the use of LSD years before the alleged assault, and cocaine years after. But Baker-Kinney mostly kept her composure, at one point even calling out Mesereau for rolling his eyes while she was speaking.
“I blamed myself,” she told him. “I thought it was my fault for 30 years. That’s why I didn’t say I was raped or feel that way.”
The three accusers have each shared stories with the commonality of being drugged by Cosby, either after taking a sip of wine or accepting pills. And all of them said they blamed themselves afterward.
EARLIER: Bill Cosby’s defense team asked for a mistrial today at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, PA after accuser Chelan Lasha taunted Cosby from the witness stand. “You remember, don’t you, Mr. Cosby?” said Lasha, speaking over Judge Steven O’Neill as he dismissed jurors for lunch on Day 3 of Cosby’s sexual assault retrial.
After the remarks, Cosby gave a brief smile and leaned forward in his chair. O’Neill quickly dismissed the defense’s motion for a mistrial and told Lasha not to make statements unless she was being asked questions. The wild scene came after 45 minutes of tearful testimony from Lasha and a cross-examination of accuser Heidi Thomas earlier in the morning.
Lasha was already crying as she took her oath. She told the story of how as a senior in high school involved in modeling in Las Vegas she was introduced to Cosby through family connections. After first meeting him at her grandparents’ house and talking with him on the phone, Cosby invited her to the Las Vegas Hilton, she said, to discuss the possibility of a role on The Cosby Show and take modeling photographs of her.
Lasha said she met him in the Hilton’s Elvis Presley suite. There, a photographer took some pictures and a stress therapist stopped by. When they left, Cosby offered her an antihistamine for a cold she was dealing with and a shot of alcohol.
“He gave me a little blue pill,” Lasha said, fighting back tears throughout her testimony. “He said it would help break up the cold.”
The blue pill matches the same description given by the prosecution of the pills offered to Andrea Constand, the former Temple University employee Cosby is accused of sexually assaulting in 2004.
After taking the pill, Lasha said, she remembers feeling woozy and Cosby telling her to lay down on a bed. “I couldn’t move anymore,” she said. “He kept grabbing my breasts and humping my legs.”
Lasha mimicked grunting sounds she said Cosby was making. She remembered waking up without her clothes in a Hilton robe and Cosby repeatedly saying, “Daddy says, wake up.”
Lasha, who will continue on the stand this afternoon, was the second of an expected five accusers the prosecution intends to call in addition to Constand. Cosby lawyer Kathleen Bliss’ motion for a retrial after Lasha’s comment illustrated the growing tensions between Cosby’s defense team and the prosecution and O’Neill. Bliss has been making pre-emptive objections quickly dismissed by O’Neill, and, at times, giving statements rather than asking questions while examining witnesses.
The first accuser to speak, Heidi Thomas, endured four hours of questioning over the last two days. She told of how, on a 1984 trip to Reno, NV, Cosby sexually assaulted her after she took a sip of white wine he had offered.
Bliss attempted to poke holes in the itinerary Thomas explained for the trip and to portray her as seeking fame by coming forward with the allegations. Thomas has not hired a lawyer, but has made multiple TV appearances.
Through the barrage of questions — Bliss’ cross-examination lasted longer than prosecutor Kevin Steele’s direct — Thomas didn’t lose her composure. Toward the end, Bliss asked if she wanted to help Constand. Thomas replied with a dig at Cosby.
“I want to see a serial rapist convicted,” she said.