Bill Cosby trial: Jurors hear comedian’s story — but not from him
Jurors in Bill Cosby’s assault trial heard his version of events for the first time Thursday — just not from the comedian himself.
Police Sgt. Richard Schaffer read aloud from Cosby’s statements in a 2005 interview with police over accusations he drugged and assaulted former Temple University employee Andrea Constand a year earlier in his suburban Philadelphia home.
In the interview, Cosby admitted he gave Constand several pills, which he said were over-the-counter Benadryl. He admitted to “petting” her sexually but said they had never had intercourse “asleep or awake.”
Cosby, 79, faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault. The comedian has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has said he does not plan to testify.
As his defense attorneys have argued, Cosby said in the police interview that he and Constand had a romantic relationship before that incident.
Thursday’s testimony moved at a slower pace compared with dramatic appearances this week from the accuser and her mother.
In defiant testimony Wednesday, Gianna Constand shared details of a two-hour-plus phone call she had with the comedian after learning he allegedly assaulted her daughter.
Prosecutors still plan to introduce Cosby’s deposition from Andrea Constand’s civil suit in which he talked about obtaining Quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex.
‘I trust you’
Constand, a former employee for the Temple University women’s basketball team, first took the stand Tuesday and told jurors how Cosby, an important Temple trustee, befriended her as a mentor and father figure. They had dinner together several times, and the comedian twice made “suggestive” passes at her, Constand testified.
However, the one-time athlete said she wasn’t scared of him.
But one night in January 2004, Cosby gave her what he said were three “herbal” drugs to help her relax at his home, she testified.
“I said, ‘I trust you.’ I took the pills and I swallowed the pills down,” she said.
She soon started slurring her words, seeing double, and became “frozen,” and she told Cosby her symptoms, she testified. He moved her to the couch and lay down behind her, she said.
“I have no recollection until at some point later I was jolted conscious, I was jolted awake, and I felt Mr. Cosby’s hand groping my breasts. I also felt his hand inside my vagina moving in and out. And I felt him take my hand and place it on his penis and move it back and forth,” she said.
Cosby, sitting silently at the defense table, repeatedly lowered and shook his head as she spoke.
Constand woke up on Cosby’s couch and left, disoriented by what had happened, she testified.
“I felt really humiliated and I was really confused,” Constand said, wiping tears from her eyes. “I just wanted to go home.”
Constand went to Cosby’s home another time in an attempt to find out the identity of the drugs she was given, she testified, but he was “evasive” with her.
She left Temple at the end of March 2004 and returned to her parents’ home in Canada. The following January, after a series of nightmares, she told her mother about what happened and they called police, initiating a criminal investigation.
The Montgomery County district attorney declined to file charges against Cosby in 2005.
Over the course of a lengthy cross-examination, Constand admitted she made several incorrect statements to police initially. She told police she had not been alone with Cosby before the assault, and she also said she had no contact with him afterward. Both of those statements were wrong, she testified.
“I was mistaken,” Constand testified. “It was a lot of confusion putting a lot of dates together.”
The defense has said phone records showed 72 calls between Constand and Cosby from January to March 2004, suggesting that the relationship between the two was romantic. Constand also asked Cosby’s representatives for tickets so she and her family could see his stand-up show in Toronto in August 2004.
Constand said she made phone calls to Cosby as part of her job at Temple to update him on the women’s basketball team. She said she got tickets to his show because her family was excited to see him.
“It was a very big burden on me, but one that I did not have the courage at the time to tell my family,” she said.
Gianna Constand took the stand directly after her daughter, describing how she confided to her in January 2005 about what Cosby did.
The mother said she then called Cosby and confronted him.
In the call, Cosby detailed what he did sexually to Andrea Constand, even going so far as to say she had an orgasm. He was “trying to lead me to believe that it was consensual or that it was OK by her, manipulating it,” Gianna Constand said.
Cosby told her he was a “sick man” and admitted that “I sound like a perverted person,” she testified. She got “aggressive” and “rude” with him and pressed him on what drugs her daughter had taken that made her incapacitated.
He said he could not read the prescription bottle, she testified, so he agreed to write it down and send it to her.
He asked what he could do to help, and she said all she wanted was an apology. He then apologized to both daughter and mother, Gianna Constand said.
Toward the end of her testimony, the mother broke down, wiping tears from her eyes.
“I knew that Mr. Cosby had mentored her and they were good friends. She viewed him like a father,” she said. “I was obviously very distraught at … just the fact that he betrayed her.”
Gianna Constand often fired back at defense attorney Angela Agrusa’s questioning during cross-examination. In the phone call, Cosby asked the mother to get Andrea on the phone to explain what happened.
Agrusa suggested Cosby asked the daughter to join the line because she would confirm their sexual activity was consensual.
No, Gianna Constand responded, he did so because “he wasn’t going to tell the truth.”
Agrusa pressed the point further.
“Whatever you feel,” the mother responded. “Whatever you think.”
After further questions on the timeline of events, she told Agrusa: “I feel you’re testing my memory about irrelevant things.”
CNN’s Jean Casarez contributed to this report.
By Eric Levenson and Lawrence Crook III, CNN