The woman accusing Bill Cosby of sexual assault acknowledged on Wednesday that she called the comedian dozens of times in the months after the incident, including multiple calls on Valentine’s Day, but batted away suggestions of romance.
The admission came as Cosby’s lawyers worked to undermine the account of Andrea Constand, who says the entertainer drugged and abused her at his Philadelphia-area home in January 2004.
Cosby 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, told jurors in Philadelphia suburb Norristown, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday that Cosby gave her unidentified pills at his home that left her “frozen” and unable to resist as he sexually assaulted her on his couch.
Defense attorney Angela Agrusa on Wednesday walked Constand through a series of phone records in an effort to suggest that Constand pursued Cosby even after the incident in question.
“You knew Mr. Cosby was married, right?” Agrusa asked.
“Yes,” Constand replied.
Agrusa also attempted to portray earlier encounters between Constand and Cosby as romantic, including a private dinner on his couch in front of a fire, with incense burning in the room.
“The room was dark, and there was a nice mood in the room, correct?” she said.
“I don’t know what that means,” Constand answered.
Agrusa has also focused on several discrepancies in a series of police interviews Constand gave in 2005 when she first reported the crime, including shifting estimates of when the assault actually occurred.
Agrusa grilled Constand on phone calls she made to a half-dozen lawyers, starting on the same day she reported the incident to police, in an effort to show Constand was after Cosby’s money.
Constand has testified that she felt she needed a lawyer to offer her advice, not necessarily to file a lawsuit.
Constand did file a lawsuit in 2005 shortly after prosecutors initially decided not to bring a case against Cosby. The lawsuit was settled in 2006 for an undisclosed sum.
The criminal case was reopened in 2015 after a judge unsealed Cosby’s civil deposition, in which the entertainer admitted to having given sedatives to young women he was romantically interested in.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis)