On Monday, Bill Cosby walked into to his sexual-assault trial escorted by Keshia Knight Pulliam, the actress who played his daughter on The Cosby Show. Their arrival kicked off an emotional day of testimony, with Cosby’s lawyer, Brian McMonagle, calling the claims of his accuser, Andrea Constand, false, while Constand’s attorney, Kristen Feden, painted Cosby as a mentor turned predator.
“Celebrities become larger than life … we feel that we know them, who they are,” Feden said. “And that’s especially true of figures like Bill Cosby. That illusion was shattered.” According to the New York Times, Feden “graphically” described Cosby’s alleged assault of Constand, which is said to have taken place in 2004, while she was managing the basketball team at Temple University. “These three friends will help you relax,” she quoted Cobsy as saying of the drugs he allegedly gave Constand before the assault.
“There is no dispute that he inserted his fingers into her vagina,” she went on. “The issue here is whether or not Andrea Constand had the ability to consent. And the answer to this question is no. Trust, betrayal, and the inability to consent — that is what this case is about,” she said.
Meanwhile, Cosby’s lawyer attacked Constand’s credibility. He remarked that a former district attorney in the same county decided not to charge Cosby in 2005. “They saw there was no evidence to bring a prosecution then,” he said. “So why are we here?”
He cited inconsistencies in Constand’s statements to police, and although he called sexual assault a “terrible crime,” he added that, “The only thing that is worse than [sexual assault] is the false accusation of sexual assault … It’s an attack on human dignity.” He went on:
What do you see? A brilliant comedian? A flawed husband whose infidelity has made him vulnerable to these actions? He might be like someone you know, who has achieved greatness yet has suffered an indescribable tragedy. What I hope you’ll see is just a man … Unfortunately, when he looks back, he can’t see. I am his eyes in the courtroom.
Following opening remarks, a woman who’s known as “Kacey” took the stand to describe an encounter with Cosby in 1996. She worked at a talent agency that represented Cosby and became friendly with the comedian. On one occasion, she said, Cosby asked her to bring food to his hotel room so they could discuss a “potential career” for her as an actress, the Guardian reports. That’s when Cosby allegedly gave her a “big white pill,” saying, “Would I ever do anything to hurt you? Trust me, it will just help you relax.” She said she awoke to Cosby assaulting her.
Kacey gave a press conference about the incident in 2015, but she didn’t go to police until a year later. “I was very afraid because I had a secret about the biggest celebrity in the world at that time,” she said. “And it was just me and my word against his.”