NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CN) – The only one of Bill Cosby’s dozens of accusers whose claims are not too old to prosecute made an unusual appearance on the witness stand Tuesday, smiling at Cosby while recalling the romantic attention she described as unwelcome.
“I remember specifically that Mr. Cosby sat very close to me and he put his hand on my thigh,” said Constand, wearing a pale blue suit, her brown hair in wild curls.
“It was the first time he touched me, so I remember that,” Constand continued.
Though she described the touch as “affectionate … maybe suggestive,” Constand said it did not trigger any alarms for her initially.
Constand had known Cosby through her job as director of basketball operations at Temple University, a Philadelphia area school where Cosby was a trustee.
At a basketball game in the late fall of 2002, Constand said one of the school’s donors introduced her to the comedian, and that she showed him the new carpet and fixtures in the women’s locker room.
Cosby was soon calling Constand’s office, she said, asking for updates on the renovations. “I was the point person, and he wanted to ask me questions,” Constand testified.
She said a friendship developed as she talked about growing up in Canada and her interest in basketball. When Cosby asked for her cellphone number, Constand said they began speaking more frequently, and he invited her to several dinner parties at his home. Constand saw it as a treat. “I ate dinner most of the time alone,” she said.
Usually at the parties, all the guests including Constand left at the same time. One evening, however, over a meal prepared by Cosby’s chef, she said the comedian’s advances became more direct.
He was “touching the side of my waist and attempted to unbutton my button at the top of my zipper,” Constand testified. “When I felt that, I leaned forward, and he took his hand away.”
Constand said she left, telling the married comedian: “I’m not here for that. I don’t want that.”
Though the trial has not touched on Constand’s sexual orientation, her attorneys noted in 2015 filings that Constand was dating a woman at the time Cosby assaulted her.
As Cosby himself testified when being deposed for the 2005 civil case with Constand, he did not learn she was gay until that year when police informed him.
Constand testified Tuesday about why she continued to have contact with Cosby. “I trusted him,” she said, “and I wasn’t scared of him in any way.”
From her seat in the witness stand, Constand smiled directly at Cosby as she talked about trips she took with him to New York. Cosby covered Constand’s expenses on these trips, but she testified that she did not stay in his room.
Constand also accepted Cosby’s invitation to join him for a performance at the Fox Woods casino in Connecticut. She recalled having dinner with Cosby and the casino manager in Cosby’s room. Though she returned to her room after dinner, Cosby summoned her back that night.
“I sat on the foot of the bed,” Constand said, giving the court a big smile. “Then Mr. Cosby plopped himself down on the bed, reclined and closed his eyes. His knee brushed up against my knee, but he didn’t say anything.”
Constand said she got up to leave after 10 minutes of this, and that Cosby gave her a box of baked goods.
“I kissed him cheek to cheek and I went back to my room,” Constand said with a smile.
To show her appreciation for the attention Cosby paid her, Constand said she sent thank-you gifts to Cosby and his wife.
Constand works now as a massage therapist in the Toronto area. When she was first considering this career change in January 2004, she said she went to Cosby’s house for his input.
“He was a Temple friend, someone I trusted, a mentor, and somewhat of an older figure to me,” Constand testified. Cosby is 35 years senior to Constand, now 44.
On the night she says Cosby drugged her, Constand had known the comedian for 16 months. She said they had been talking for half an hour when Cosby went upstairs. He came back with three blue pills in his hand.
“These will help you relax,” she recalled him saying.
“I asked if they were herbal,” she continued. “He nodded yes and said put them down, they’re your friends, they will take the edge off.”
“I trusted him so I took them,” Constand added.
After the pills, she said Cosby offered her wine, which was poured at the table.
“After several more minutes of talking, I began to slur my words, and I told Mr. Cosby I could see two of him, and my mouth was very cottony,” she testified, looking at the jury.
“When I stood up, my legs were not strong, and I began to panic a little bit,” she said.
“He assisted me over to a couch and told me to relax,” she said. “I was very concerned and thought I was having a bad reaction.”
Before describing her alleged assault, Constand looked up the courtroom ceiling and took a deep breath. “I don’t really remember passing out or … I have no recollection, until some point later,” she said. “I was jolted conscious, jolted awake, and I felt Mr. Cosby’s hand groping my breast under my shirt and inside my vagina, moving in and out. I felt him place my hand on his penis and move it back and forth.”
“Did you tell him to stop?” asked Assistant District Attorney Kristen Feden.
“I wasn’t able to,” Constand said through tears. “In my head I was trying to move … but I was frozen. I wanted it to stop,”
Constand said she next remembers waking up at dawn and walking to the kitchen.
“I was very confused and disoriented,” she said, noting that Cosby offered her a muffin and a tea.
“I took two sips of the tea and grabbed the top of the muffin … and I drove myself home,” she said.
“I felt really humiliated,” Constand said.
At the defense table, Cosby dropped his head and looked to the floor.
Constand said she confronted Cosby after he invited her to a dinner with teachers and parents. “I didn’t think I’d be able to talk to him but I took a chance,” she said.
Constand said she was speechless at his reaction. “I thought you had an orgasm,” she claimed he had said.
“He was evasive with me, so I left,” she said.
Constand admitted that she continued to have phone contact with the comedian. “I thought it would look negative on me,” she said, if she didn’t answer his calls. “He was a trustee and an alumni there, who supported many of the programs,” she added.
By March 31, 2004, Constand resigned from Temple and moved to Canada.
She says she saw Cosby again in August, bringing her family to see him perform. “I did not want to let my family down, so he left four tickets for myself and my family at that show,” she said. “We saw him there, but did not see him in person.”
Though she called seeing Cosby “a big burden” on her, Constand claimed she did not have to courage to tell her family what happened so she “just went along with it.”
Her mother bought Cosby a T-shirt to thank him for buying the tickets.
It was a bad dream that drove the truth out, Constand testified. “I woke up crying,” Constand said about why she told her mother Cosby sexual assaulted her.
She said her mother called Cosby because she wanted to know what drugs he had given her.
Cosby didn’t answer, but he called back. Constand said she was listening on another line when her mother and the comedian spoke. “He apologized to me and my mother,” she testified. They asked what he gave her, but “he said he would write it down on a piece of paper and mail it to me,” Constand said.
Again during this call, Constand said, Cosby expressed doubt that his advances were not wanted. “I thought you had an orgasm,” Constand recalled him saying.
Constand was clear about whether she had consented to any part of sexual assault: “No.”
Wrapping up Constand’s testimony after an afternoon recess, ADA Feden went over some of the inconsistencies between the witness’s testimony and what she told Canadian police.
Though the Canadian police records quote Constand as saying she had known Cosby for six months when he assaulted her, Constand testified today that it was for 16 months. “I’m not sure why he wrote that,” Constand said of the Canadian police officer.
Constand responded vaguely about the discrepancies under cross-examination. “I was really nervous and wasn’t able to recall every moment,” she said.
Defense attorney Angela Agrusa questioned Constand about why she told Canadian police that the night of her assault was the first time she was ever alone with Cosby.
“I’m not sure,” Constand said.
Agrusa also showed Constand her family’s 2005 phone records from Canada. They show that the morning that she called Cosby, Constand called two law firms in Philadelphia.
Continue reading: Witnesses at Bill Cosby Trial Build Assault Timeline