Cosby lawyer launches fierce attack on accuser

Cosby lawyer launches fierce attack on accuser

Speaking for nearly an hour, he repeatedly attacked the credibility of the key prosecution witness, Andrea Constand, a Canadian massage therapist who alleges she was rendered comatose and sexually assaulted by Cosby in January 2004. Since she had to miss work on those days and pay for her own meals, she said, "In a sense, I lost money".

His attack on Constand was a striking departure from the more subdued tone that Cosby's previous lawyer took at the first trial, which ended in a hung jury last spring.

Cosby's team immediately moved for a mistrial after the remark.

The judge ruled that Cosby's lawyers can bring it up.

He was in his mid-60s. She says Cosby then assaulted her.

The now-stage manager said she nervously responded, "I wasn't planning on alerting the media", and fled, she told jurors Wednesday.

In the narrative laid out by Mesereau, Constand was absolutely the wrong person to pull into his confidence. The defense is aiming to portray Constand as a calculating gold-digger, using the settlement as an example, and he brought it up before they could. Cosby talked to her about a possible role on his hit television show.

Prosecutors are calling other accusers to the stand to make the case Cosby is a serial predator.

But one new detail has already emerged in the form of a settlement Cosby paid to Constand in 2006, according to The New York Times: $3.38 million. Cosby was grunting, Lasha said.

"This was a paltry sum to him to avoid all this", Mesereau said.

The defense will deliver its opening statement Tuesday in a trial expected to last a month. Cosby seemed startled by the commotion as a half-dozen protesters chanted at him. Steven O'Neill, the veteran judge overseeing the case, reversed a previous decision and allowed testimony from a Temple University counselor who had worked with sexual assault victims.

Cosby has denied the allegations made by Constand, claiming that their sexual contact was consensual.

The testimony of Constand will be central to the retrial - as it was in the first trial.


Constand had been a star player at the University of Arizona and briefly played professional basketball in Europe. She dabbled with modeling and aspired to enter the entertainment industry, Mesereau said.

She soon awoke to Cosby pulling her rigid body on top of his on a couch, and snaking his hand down her shirt.

The former model and aspiring actress says she was immobilized and unable to speak as Cosby assaulted her after giving her a pill he described as an antihistamine in 1986. To hammer home that point, Mesereau - a flamboyant courtroom figure with startling white, almost shoulder-length hair who is based in Los Angeles - offered a beginner's course on Hollywood to his suburban, East Coast audience in the jury box. Because there's something that you want.

Thomas testified that Cosby had offered to mentor her in the mid-1980s, and that he raped her after pressuring her to take a sip of wine during an acting exercise that left her incapacitated. Thomas, at the time, was represented by a formidable Denver agent named Jo Farrell, who was nicknamed "The Barracuda".

Before the trip, Thomas said, Cosby even called her parents to discuss her future.

"The main goal was to make Cosby uncomfortable, because that is exactly what he has been doing for decades to women and to show him that the body can be aggressive and empowered", she stated.

"I had no indication that he would want me to take two for any other reason than to have fun", she testified.

"It was a part of my journey", Thomas said.

Until then, she had blamed herself for the encounter, and had told few people about it, except her husband, a psychologist and her three daughters. She testified that she first regained consciousness in a bed, a naked Cosby atop her, forcing himself in her mouth; later, she woke up again to the sound of Cosby's voice saying, "Your friend is going to come again". "Is that mounting?" Thomas said.

Under cross-examination, Ms Thomas said that she chronicled her trip to Reno in a scrapbook and recorded a cassette tape at the home where she had the encounter with Cosby. She flew to St. Louis to confront Cosby, but only managed to tag along for a late night dinner.

In the photo, Thomas and Cosby have their arms around each other. But he wasn't happy about it.

"At that point", she told jurors, "I didn't care if he was happy or not".

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