Bill Cosby lawyer scours complainant's words, looking for doubt

Lawrence Kim
April 16, 2018

What was the accuser's relationship with Cosby?

The defense said she spent late nights at the comedian's home, drove four hours to see him at a casino and called him twice on Valentine's Day, about a month after the alleged assault. She said Cosby, a Temple alum and powerful trustee, called the pills "your friends" and told her they would "help take the edge off".

Heidi Thomas, Chelan Lasha, Janice Baker-Kinney and Lise-Lotte Lublin each testified last week that Cosby incapacitated them with drugs or wine and then assaulted them in separate incidents decades ago.

Cosby could face 10 years in prison if convicted.

Cosby arrived at the rain-soaked suburban Philadelphia courthouse on Monday morning wearing a black raincoat and walking under a large, black umbrella held by his spokesman, Andrew Wyatt. However, the judge insisted that they persisted to deliberate Cosby's future.

Mesereau, in his cross-examination of Constand, asked her about inconsistencies in her statements to police about the alleged assault.

Andrea Constand, who now lives in Toronto, took the witness stand for a second day Monday and said under cross-examination that her phone calls to Cosby were about basketball and had nothing to do with romance. But Constand's phone records show she did not make any calls to Cosby's home that month.

Constand said she chose to go to police in January 2005, about a year after the encounter, jarred to action by a nightmare and an increasing awareness of consent issues from her ongoing massage therapy training.

The defence is trying to cast Constand as an unrequited lover who acted inappropriately by showing interest in the long-married Cosby.

In her first day of testimony, Constand accused Cosby of attacking her when she visited him to discuss leaving her job as director of operations for Temple's women's basketball team.

"You think you called Mr. Cosby to talk about basketball?"

Constand testified that she felt a duty to answer Cosby's inquiries since he was a powerful alumnus and trustee. But Constand's phone records show she did not make any calls to Cosby's mansion that month.

"I was weak. I was limp, and I just could not fight him off", said Andrea Constand, once again confronting the 80-year-old comedian in court after his first trial ended with a hung jury.

Cosby's lawyers say Constand outlined her get-rich scheme to a Temple colleague, Marguerite Jackson. She said Cosby stopped her as she went to leave: "All he said was there's a muffin and tea on the table and then, "All right" and then I left". The defense has called the other accusers irrelevant to the case.

But Cosby's new team of lawyers has taken a more aggressive approach against Montgomery County, Pa., District Attorney Kevin Steele's case, and especially against Constand.

Cosby lawyer Tom Mesereau, who has called Constand a "con artist" who framed Cosby and then collected a $3.4 million settlement, asked her about Jackson during cross-examination Monday. Cosby stood trial a year ago on the charges, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict. Mesereau asked, wondering in front of jurors if she'd ever offered to give back the money.

Cosby was originally charged with sexual assault with a sentence possibly up to ten years. She ultimately confided in her mother.

Constand testified she was just being nice when she hugged Cosby or kissed him on the cheek because she was grateful for his friendship and mentorship. "I didn't know where to turn".

Mesereau displayed incredulity when Constand denied being aware that Cosby was sexually attracted to her, even after he touched her thigh on one occasion and tried unbuttoning her trousers in a previous visit to Cosby's home.

Afterward, Constand said, "I was really humiliated".

Mesereau showed documents Constand signed confirming she participation in the classes.

"The next thing I recall, I was kind of jolted awake", Constand said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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