The mother of Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand took the stand at the start of the second week of the comedian’s sexual assault retrial and began talking about the time she confronted him about her daughter many years ago. The rage, she testified, boiled inside her enough to break capillaries in her eyes. “My eyes were like two pools of blood,” Gianna Constand said. “I was that angry to get things out of him.”
Similar flashes of emotion were on display Monday afternoon at the Montgomery County courthouse in Norristown, PA as she told the story of her interactions with Cosby, who is accused of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004.
Cosby’s defense used its cross-examination to try to hint that her daughter was having money problems at Temple and using Cosby for his connections, rather than contest the story Gianna Constand told the prosecution of how Cosby confessed to her in a phone call he was a “dirty man” who improperly touched her daughter.
The testimony capped a wild Day 6 that featured Andrea Constand’s last couple of hours on the stand, theatrics between Cosby lawyer Kathleen Bliss and Judge Steven O’Neill, and even a gaffe by Cosby attorney Tom Mesereau when his cell phone began ringing in court. Mesereau quickly silenced the phone but not before nearly everyone in the courtroom, even jurors, erupted in laughter.
As she did during the first Cosby trial last year, Gianna Constand told prosecutors how in early 2005, about a year after the alleged sexual assault, she called Cosby seeking answers, speaking to him for nearly two and a half hours. At the end of it, Gianna Constand said Cosby told her he felt like, “a dirty, old, perverted man” and that his last words were “it took Andrea to stop him.”
Gianna Constand recorded Cosby during a second conversation, but the comedian made no confessions. In the call, played during court, he did reference mailing the label on the bottle of pills he had given to Andrea Constand before the alleged assault so her mother would know what he gave her. He never sent the label.
Bliss quickly rattled Gianna Constand during cross-examination. After asking a question about her thoughts on Constand’s job status and financial situation while at Temple, Gianna Constand said, “I’m here to discuss the incident that happened.”
Later, after Bliss asked a particularly pointed question, Gianna Constand responded, “You were just nice a second ago.” Bliss then asked O’Neill to strike all “the gratuitous remarks” and promptly lodged another pointed question before O’Neill cut her off.
“It is amazing you could ask the witness not to do what she just did, and then you come right back and do it to her,” he said.
Andrea Constand was calm and composed throughout her more than eight hours of testimony, opposite of her mother. On Friday, Mesereau showed several inconsistencies in Constand’s testimony to the prosecution compared with what she’d said to police and in a deposition from years earlier. Today Mesereau largely asked the same questions over and over, honing in on emails in which Constand tried to recruit people to join in what she referred to as “a pyramid” without anyone at the top and the high quantity of phone calls records indicated she made to Cosby after the alleged assault, including two on Valentine’s Day 2004.
Assistant District Attorney Kristen Feden fought back at the inconsistencies by talking Constand through what remained consistent throughout interviews with police, the deposition and her time on the witness stand in this retrial: the allegation that Cosby offered her three pills and sexually assaulted her.
“Have you consistently said you were drugged without consent?” Feden asked. Constand replied that she had. That same conviction was apparent in her mother’s voice when asked about the alleged assault.
On redirect, prosecutor Kevin Steele asked Gianna Constand whether the defense had even bothered to ask about the incident and the phone call she made to Cosby where she said he admitted the alleged assault to her.
“No,” Gianna Constand replied.
“Do you know what he did?” Steele asked.
Gianna Constand started weeping as she said yes. Steele asked why.
“Because he told me,” she said.