6 things we learned from Constand’s testimony in Cosby’s trial
Andrea Constand, the central figure in the criminal trial of Bill Cosby, testified over two days that the former TV icon drugged and assaulted her at his home in January 2004.
Whether the jury believes her testimony — unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt — is likely to be key to whether they find Cosby guilty or not guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
Here are six things we learned from her testimony and the cross-examination, including her mentor-like relationship with Cosby, how she felt after the alleged assault and her “consistent but mistaken” testimony in some areas.
Constand saw Cosby as a mentor
Constand testified she considered Cosby, a trustee at Temple University, a professional mentor — not a potential romantic partner.
He provided her with professional connections, and she thanked him by buying him Temple gear, such as hats, T-shirts and sweatshirts, she testified.
“My thoughts were that he was a well-respected Temple advocate and trustee,” she said. “He was also a community leader … and that made him a very well-respected person at Temple, and I was grateful for (him) helping me in any way that he did.”
She testified that she had seven social encounters with Cosby prior to the assault, including one in which he tried to unbutton the button on her pants.
“I mentioned that I wasn’t here for that, and he respectfully stopped and we never talked about it again,” Constand said of that incident. “He got the picture.”
Cosby offered her three blue pills, she testified
Constand testified that the alleged assault occurred when she went to his home outside Philadelphia in January 2004 to discuss her future and career.
During the visit, he offered her wine and three blue pills, saying “these are your friends, they will take the edge off,” she testified. She said she thought they were natural remedies, and she trusted him, so she took them.
She began to slur her words and became very weak, she testified, and Cosby guided her to a sofa as she went in and out of consciousness.
“The next thing I recall is, um, I was kind of jolted awake, and felt Mr. Cosby on the couch beside me, behind me, and my vagina was being penetrated quite forcefully,” Constand testified. “I felt my breasts being touched, and he took my hand and placed my hand on his penis and masturbated himself with my hand. And I was not able to do a thing to fight back.
“I felt his fingers going inside of my vagina, going in and out, very forcefully,” she said.
Several other women, including supermodel Janice Dickinson, testified in this trial that Cosby offered them blue pills that incapacitated them in incidents decades ago.
Constand woke up and felt ‘humiliated’
Constand testified that she could not move as Cosby assaulted her on the couch.
“Were you able to verbalize and tell him to stop?” prosecutor Kristen Feden asked.
“No,” she replied. “I wanted it to stop. I couldn’t say anything. I was trying to get my hands to move, my legs to move and the message just wasn’t getting there. I was weak, I was limp and I couldn’t fight him off.”
“I was really humiliated. I was in shock. And I was really confused,” Constand added.
In the morning, she woke up disheveled.
“My next memory was getting up off the couch, seeing my bra was up around my neck and my pants were kind of half unzipped,” Constand continued. “I had to kind of get myself together … and started walking toward the door.”
As she got up, Cosby told her that there was a muffin and tea on the table, Constand testified. She sipped the tea, took the top of the muffin and drove home, she said.
They stayed in contact after the incident
After the alleged assault, Constand and Cosby interacted a number of times over the phone. She also spoke with him to arrange tickets for her family to attend one of his shows, she testified.
Constand, an employee with the Temple women’s basketball team, said the calls were largely in her job duties to inform Cosby of the basketball schedule and scores.
Mesereau pointed out that one of her calls to Cosby was made on Valentine’s Day in 2004.
“I called many people on Valentine’s Day, sir,” Constand responded.
‘Consistent, but mistaken’
On cross-examination, Mesereau argued that she had significant inconsistencies in her version of events. He noted that in one police report, she said the assault took place in March, while other reports said it took place in January.
“I was mistaken,” Constand said.
“Do you agree that on many subjects you have been inconsistent with what you have told police?” Mesereau asked.
“I believe I have been consistent, but mistaken in some areas,” she said.
Prosecutors pointed out that Constand has been consistent on the primary accusation in the case.
“Have you consistently maintained that you were drugged and sexually assaulted by the defendant?” attorney Feden asked.
“Yes,” Constand said.
She was glad the case was settled
Prosecutors revealed for the first time in opening statements that Cosby and Constand settled a civil lawsuit in 2006 for $3.38 million. As part of the settlement, Cosby did not admit to wrongdoing.
Constand said she was happy the civil suit ended then.
“I can’t speak for him but I was glad it was over,” Constand said.
Mesereau asked her why she agreed to a settlement in which Cosby denied all allegations and entered the agreement to avoid the costs and annoyance of prosecution.
“Because it was a very painstaking process for me and my family, it tore my family apart and we just wanted it over,” Constand said.