Cosby attorneys attack sex assault accuser’s credibility
Bill Cosby’s lawyers on Wednesday tried to undermine the account of the woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her in 2004, questioning apparent inconsistencies in her statements to police and suggesting she was after money.
Andrea Constand, the key prosecution witness, told jurors on Tuesday in a suburban Philadelphia courtroom that Cosby gave her unidentified pills at his home that he claimed would help her relax. Instead, she said, the drugs left her “frozen” and unable to resist as he sexually assaulted her on his couch.
Cosby, who entered court accompanied by actress Sheila Frazier, his co-star in the 1978 film “California Suite,” has faced allegations of sexual assault from dozens of women, though Constand’s accusation is the only one to lead to criminal charges. The 79-year-old entertainer, once known as “America’s dad” for his role in the 1980s hit television series “The Cosby Show,” has denied all wrongdoing.
Constand, a former women’s basketball coach at Cosby’s alma mater, Temple University, said she viewed him as a mentor.
Cosby’s lawyer, Angela Agrusa, focused not on the details of the alleged assault but on other aspects of Constand’s narrative, including discrepancies in several police interviews Constand gave in 2005 when she decided to report the crime a year later.
At one point, Constand told police the incident likely occurred on March 16, 2004, after dinner with several people. She later amended that account to sometime between mid-January and mid-February 2004, while on Tuesday she said it took place in early January.
Agrusa displayed Constand’s phone records to jurors, pointing out that she made multiple calls on the night of March 16.
“You were not drugged and unconscious on March 16, 2004, right?” the attorney asked.
“That’s right,” Constand said.
Other details of Constand’s account also shifted in statements to police and in a deposition during her civil lawsuit in 2005. She initially told officers she had never been alone with Cosby before the incident and that she had largely cut off contact with him afterward, neither of which was true.
Agrusa also suggested Constand was tailoring her story in order to support her civil lawsuit against Cosby. Using phone records on Tuesday, Agrusa noted that Constand had called at least six different lawyers, starting on the day she first reported the assault to police.
The lawsuit was settled in 2006 for an undisclosed sum.
Cosby does not plan to testify.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis)