Witness: Cosby accuser talked about fabricating sexual assault claims

Andrea Constand once said she could fabricate sexual assault claims against a celebrity for financial gain, a key defense witness testified Wednesday in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial.

Constand has said she considered Cosby a mentor and he gained her trust, drugged and assaulted her in 2004. Cosby, 80, said the sexual contact was consensual.

Cosby has pleaded not guilty to three charges of aggravated indecent assault. His first trial ended in a mistrial after a Pennsylvania jury couldn’t come to a unanimous decision.

Marguerite Jackson, who worked at Temple University with Constand, told jurors in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania that the two shared a room during a basketball trip to Rhode Island in February 2004. While watching a news report about a celebrity accused of drugging and sexually assaulting someone, Constand said “something similar happened to me,” said Jackson, one of several defense witnesses.

“I was like, ‘Really, who? When?” Jackson recounted. “She said ‘she wasn’t going to say,’ and I said, ‘Did you report it?'”

Constand said she did not report the claim “because I couldn’t prove it,” according to Jackson.

After Jackson asked her if it was true a third time, Constand said it was not but she could say it was.

“I could file a civil suit, get that money, quit my job, go back to school, and start a business,” Constand said, according to Jackson.

Prosecutor Stewart Ryan noted inconsistencies in Jackson’s testimony. She had said she roomed with Andrea six times in prior statements, but testified it was as few as two times.

He also presented Jackson with expense reports that suggest she may have not traveled with the team in the year she says the conversation took place.

Earlier Wednesday, the prosecution called publisher Judith Regan, who worked with prior Cosby accuser Janice Dickinson on three books.

Regan testified that Dickinson told her Cosby drugged and raped her, but without corroboration couldn’t publish it because of legal concerns.

“She was upset, she was angry, she continued to be upset that we could not include it in the book,” Regan said.

Cosby’s defense noted the account eventually published was very different from Dickinson’s testimony last week. The defense questioned if the book was filled with lies, or if Dickinson lied to the jury.

Earlier Wednesday, portions of Cosby’s 2005 deposition in which he discussed giving women Quaaludes were read back to the jury.

“Was it in your mind that you were going to use these Quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?” Cosby was asked in the deposition.

“Yes,” Cosby’s replied.

He also maintained in the deposition that when he gave women the drugs, he always did it with their knowledge.

Prosecutors on Thursday are expected to call another witness, a toxicologist.