UPDATED, 2:50 PM: Bill Cosby attorney Tom Mesereau kept repeating the same phrase over and over Friday afternoon as accuser Andrea Constand looked on from the witness stand with a blank stare: “Your honor,” he said. “I’d like to approach the witness with sworn testimony.”
And many of those times he was able to show Constand had told a different story regarding an aspect of her relationship with Cosby either in a police report from 2005 or the deposition she took as part of her civil case against Cosby in 2006.
Constand’s testimony wrapped up the first week of the Cosby retrial. it will resume Monday with Constand back on the stand to answer more questions from Mesereau.
Cosby left the courthouse smiling Friday as two protesters, one with a megaphone, shouted, “Shame on you, Bill Cosby!” and “Shame on you, Temple University!” The comedian’s publicist, Andrew Wyatt, attempted to make a statement to assembled media but barely could be heard over the protesters’ shouts.
“[This is] a waste of taxpayer money,” Wyatt said. “Mr. Cosby should not be here.”
After that, a family snuck behind the media barricade, and Cosby signed an autograph for a young girl. They had a short conversation before he got into an SUV and left.
Earlier, Mesereau started his cross-examination by placing a police report from an interview Constand conducted with Canadian authorities when she first reported the alleged assault in 2005. He would go back to that report, plus the deposition, over and over — trying to raise every inconsistency possible from past statements to what she told jurors on the stand. Mesereau went over information about Cashmere sweaters, the night she told police she was assaulted, the amount of times she dined with Cosby and much, much more.
Constand became confused at times, asking him to repeat a question multiple times about when she went to a Chinese restaurant after the alleged assault to confront Cosby. And at one point, she briefly said she had not attended the Chinese restaurant with Cosby, even though she had just testified about it to the prosecution hours earlier.
Mesereau also was able to show contradictions when asking whether Constand ever told police she had an “intimate” relationship with Cosby before the alleged assault and whether she’d ever worn a Cashmere sweater he’d given her. Constand answered no to both of those questions on the stands. Then Mesereau showed her how in the deposition she gave in 2006 she answered yes, that she had had an “intimate” relationship with Cosby before the alleged assault and had worn the Cashmere sweater he’d given to her as a gift.
By 4:30, Meserau was ready to go through more than 100 pages of emails regarding a pyramid scheme he claimed she was involved with known as 10in10Biz. It’s part of his strategy to attempt to prove she was hungry for money at the time she was involved with Cosby.
PREVIOUSLY, 10:45 AM: Assistant District Attorney Kristen Feden’s first question to Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand today had to do with money.
In the comic’s retrial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, PA, Feden asked her if she ever had sued Cosby. The ADA followed by asking whether the suit was settled and finally asked her about the amount, to which Constand replied she was paid $3.38 million. After a couple more follow-ups about lawsuits — Constand has none pending against Cosby — Feden then asked why Constand was here.
“For justice,” she said.
Their aim was to disarm the defense’s argument Constand (far right) is a gold digger and to show that her story about a sexual assault on a January night in 2004 is legitimate. From there, over about three hours on the witness stand on this fifth day of the Cosby retrial, Constand remained calm and collected while telling jurors Cosby sexually assaulted after she had thought they’d developed a mentor-mentee relationship. Feden was set to continue questioning Constand after a lunch break.
Back in June, a jury spent four days deliberating and couldn’t come to an agreement about Cosby’s guilt regarding the alleged assault of Constand. She arrived at the courthouse Thursday afternoon, as the last of five other accusers testified on the stand, but didn’t begin testifying until today.
Constand explained how she met the comedian in 2002 while working as the director of operations of the women’s basketball team at his alma mater Temple University. Cosby began calling her routinely to talk about the athletic department and eventually about her life and career. Over the next year, she said he invited her for dinner at his house multiple times and once to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.
At one point, Constand said, Cosby touched her on the thigh and another time tried to unzip her pants while sitting next to her. But she didn’t feel threatened. After he tried to unzip her pants, Constand said, she gestured that she wasn’t interested, and he complied.
“He got the picture,” she said.
In January 2004, Constand was preparing to tell Temple basketball coach Dawn Staley she planned to leave the program and move back to Canada to work as a massage therapist. She’d been talking with Cosby about it, and according to Constand, he invited her to his home to discuss best plans for her resignation.
They sat at his kitchen table, a bottle of water and wine in front of them. Constand said she didn’t want to drink but took a sip after Cosby told her it was an old bottle and she needed to try it. After using the restroom, Constand returned to the kitchen and found Cosby had three blue pills in his hand.
“He said, ‘These are your friends. They’ll help take the edge off,” Constand said. “I said, ‘Do I put them under my tongue? Do I swallow them?’ He said, ‘Put them down. They’ll help you relax.’”
Constand recalled feeling woozy and unable to stand. She said Cosby helped her lie down on a couch. Her next memory, she said, was Cosby inserting his fingers in her vagina and using her hand to stroke his penis.
“I wanted it to stop,” Constand said. “I couldn’t say anything. I was trying to get my hands to move, my legs to move. I was weak. I was limp and I could not fight him off.”
Afterward, Constand said, she tried unsuccessfully to get information from Cosby in person, and then, about a year later, over the phone with her mother. She said Cosby apologized on the phone call but would not tell her the pills he gave her.
Feden also asked about Marguerite Jackson, who likely will be a key witness for the defense. Jackson, a colleague at Temple, is expected to testify that Constand once told her while on a road trip with the basketball team that she could make up a claim about a celebrity sexually assaulting her to gain money.
Constand said she never roomed with Jackson on a road trip and expressed barely knowing her.
“I know the name,” she said.